This photo appeared on Facebook in the last few days. The poster the child is carrying is a lie. Has the Labour government closed down any of its own childrensâ€™ centres? I donâ€™t think so. It seems rather unnecessary to use a child to point out that a future Conservative government is going to be looking very hard at all areas of government expenditure.
We know who posted this photo. It was Gail Gallie. Her biog is posted on her own PR companyâ€™s website:
Gallie was the account director on BMP DDB’s 1997 New Labour election campaign, which helped bring Tony Blair to power, and later as a head of marketing at the BBC she led the launch campaigns for Cbeebies and BBC Three and strategic overhauls of the core BBC brand as well as Radio 1 and BBC News.
I wrote to Gallie to challenge her about who the kid was and she admitted that it was her own son. This seems very unwise to me and I will remove the photo as soon as she removes the one she posted on Facebook. In her mail Gallie said:
He’s my son, it is my photo, and I did it to support the campaign to keep Sure Start Centres open and available to people like me who use them.
This Facebook page is supposed to look all homespun but is in reality just an extension of Labourâ€™s press release from yesterday that repeats their lie that the Tories will take Â£200 million out of Sure Start and close one fifth of the childrensâ€™ centres. Even Channel 4â€™s Cathy Newman is not convinced and demolishes Labourâ€™s lies quite satisfactorily here. The Tories will look at the effectiveness of Sure Start and refocus resources on the most needy. The evidence so far is that the money on Sure Start has not made a measurable difference to attainment, see here.
You can’t help thinking that the Tories are right to ask if the SureStart money couldn’t be better spent if high powered PR types like Gallie are hogging the places. If Gallie and her mates use up all the Sure Start places it will not be a surprise if the service does not reach the “hard to reach”. Doh!