I have just bowdlerised this posting in response to an e-mail from Joy Johnson. She calls herself Director of Media and Marketing and is I guess the woman responsible for overseeing the Mayor’s Â£100 million a year propaganda budget. She says:
Dear Cllr Taylor,
In your recent blog on the Mayor’s trip to Miami, you named one of my press officers and referred to her as ‘a cute little PR’.
Miss X is an officer employed by the Greater London Authority and should not be publicly singled out merely for doing her job. To refer to Miss X in the terms you have is sexist, derogatory and completely unacceptable.
I would ask that you remove Miss X’s name and the demeaning ‘cute little PR’ reference from your website immediately.
Whilst I admire and approve of a boss sticking up for one of her people I do think she comes across as being somewhat humourless and brittle. It seems strange to put yourself in the position of talking to the press and the outside world in general and then running back under the skirts of the protection due “an officer employed by the Greater London Authority” at the prospect of simply being named. If she was some lowly grunt in TfL say whose job involved planning the next adjustment to traffic light timings designed to slow down drivers even further I could see the need to protect her identity from the righteous indignation of London drivers. But, her name is on the bottom of the press release silly.
Joy’s choice of words: “merely for doing her job”, made me laugh too because the Mayor got into trouble with a certain Evening Standard reporter who was merely doing his job. I guess that when this PR goes to heaven and has to account for all her air miles she will tell St Peter that she was only following orders.
I have not met the PR lady in question and I cannot really comment on whether she is indeed cute or little. The dark craft of spin/comms/PR is though somewhat over-represented by young women so I am not sure that I have strayed that far from the bounds of propriety really.
I am happy to know that Ms Johnson is one of my readers and has nothing better to do with her time.