Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Plaid call in their fashion police

You know there's an election looming when Plaid Cymru put quails' eggs on the menu at their New Year "bring-a-candidate" party.

Several of Plaid's wannabe MPs spent yesterday in Westminster catching up on lines to take, being photographed with their political heroes in front of sloganeering backdrops and getting tips on how to handle the media (never say "no comment", apparently).

The candidates were handed a copyof Plaid's Campaign Handbook (£10 from its National Campaigns Unit). This includes election tips supplied by some of the party's leading lights past and present.

For media interviews, candidates are told: "Decide in advance what you want to say. If you have any questions about lines to take, contact the National Campaigns Unit before any interview.

"Stick to what you want to say and don't allow the interviewer to deviate you from your key messages. Repeat yourself using different language if necessary.

"Relax - You will almost certainly know more about your subject than the interviewer." (Hmmm....)

And if you've ever wondered what to wear when a BBC TV crew comes calling, here is the official Plaid line:

"Look smart - wear something appropriate for the occasion, don't wear something too trendy. If you are a man do not wear a tie that is much lighter in colour than your shirt. Don't wear shirts of blouses with elaborate patterns or with close lines."

To make the point, the front of the handbook features party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones wearing an open-necked shirt and denim jeans, jacket draped over right shoulder.

Definitely not too trendy, although my own fashion guru advises that men over 40 should be careful before wearing denim - something to do with Jeremy Clarkson and Tony Blair, apparently.

My own photograph shows the deputy First Minister wearing his Sunday best but if any of you do have photographs of Plaid figures wearing "something too trendy", do feel free to e-mail them to me.

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