The McBride formula?

The likelihood of an email to leak is equal to the sum of the level of public interest in its content multiplied by the number of people you send it to.

L (leak) = ∑ pi (public interest) x (To + cc)

The likelihod of a political operative to self immolate is equal to the number of years in power multiplied by their arrogance level multiplied by the number of enemies made

R (resignation) = Y (years in power) x A (arrogance) x E (enemies)

OK I was a literature grad but it’s the best I can do. Love to hear suggestions.

Or finally, how about, ‘there is a direct and inverse relationship between control and credibility’ . The people who new how to run political communications in the last age can become a liability in this one. That said, this seems to be a moral failing not a mere technical one.

Categories Technology

6 thoughts on “The McBride formula?

  1. The advice I always gave to my colleagues and clients in the lobbying world was this –

    “Always assume that anyone you write about will always read what you have written – now, do you really want to put that in writing?”


  2. Just saw this from Alistair Campbell’s blog:

    What the fall-out must not do is make Labour defensive about trying to do a better job of communicating via the web. A more open and engaged politics is essential if Labour are to have a chance of winning a fourth term. This episode is a bad example of the old politics, much more than a botched example of the new. Whatever the hoo-ha in the media, that is how Labour should see it and the politicians need to start using the web and its opportunities properly, rather than saying this shows what happens if you try.


  3. Sharp.

    Once again I got the best out of the 60 sec I spent reading your post.
    I’ll extend my thoughts and conversation on my blog.



  4. Thoughtful post, David, even if your algebra (or maths or even nuclear physic) makes absolutely no sense to me 🙂

    I also read Alistair Campbell’s various posts on the email affair. Liked this thought in a post he wrote yesterday:

    In the modern age, with freedom of information, inquiries galore, a restive civil service looking over its shoulder, a media prepared to print first and ask questions later, you may as well assume that anything you write down will be made public at some point. McBride will be thinking that was his big mistake – writing it all down. His really big mistake was thinking it might be effective.

    Especially the last two sentences: spot on, imo.


  5. McBride failed to understand that even if the allegations were true most people don’t give a damn. Moreover, the examples of Clinton, G W Bush, Sarah Palin – even Max Mosley – highlighted that such smear tactics generally backfire on the accusers. So much so that Obama went the other way confidently. Arguably the most respected politician on earth, said of his own cocaine use: “Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man . . . I got high [to] push questions of who I was out of my mind.” There’s more here for those wanting more…


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