What, take a tip from a politician?

I know politicians are criticised for not answering the question and that, by suggesting you take a tip from one, I might have lost your attention already. But, in a crisis, not answering can be your best tactic. That doesn’t mean staying silent (that’s the worst plan of inaction). You need to put your points across and the trick is to find a way of making it happen, seamlessly.

Ignore the subject, and disregard the person speaking; take this for what it is: a nifty way of turning round the conversation. It’s David Cameron being pressed by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme on his relationship with the non-domiciled Lord Ashcroft, as reported in The Independent this morning:

“I can’t remember when I first met Michael Ashcroft, but let’s put it in perspective a little bit. I’ve totally changed the way the Conservative Party raises money. We have broadened the supply … It’s not reliant on just a few millionaires any more.”

Just nine words (10 if you count let’s as two) and he’s changed the angle of the story. It’s worth taking a tip from this pro, whatever your political colour.

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