Alastair Campbell: By showing his humanity, Gordon will reach a wider audience

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The Independent Online

Twitter in particular has changed the balance of power in the relationship between "expert" and "people". I don't know how many people were watching the Prime Minister's interview with Piers Morgan, nor how many were tweeting as they did so, but when I saw the tweet "Why is Piers Morgan trending on Twitter?" I realised the answers were, respectively ... a lot, and quite a few.

Piers is one of those people who provokes strong reactions anyway, but it was also possible to detect in some of the media commentary yesterday a certain jealousy – how many political pundits would love to get the kind of attention for an interview with GB that Piers managed to get? Answer: all of them.

Piers has taken a bit of a kicking for being so obviously friendly to the PM, but it was in fact very close to his usual interviewing style. It was in both his and Gordon's interests for a different side to GB to be shown, and that certainly emerged. Gordon is never going to be the "touchiest-feeliest" politician on the planet, but it does him no harm at all for people to be reminded that beneath the politician's image is a human being with a back story made up of the usual mix of good and bad, low and high, tragic and joyous.

I think if there is any lasting impact from the interview it is that in the conversation it has generated, people will at least think that conversation has more than the single "GB bad" dimension so much of the media has been putting over in recent months.

It has helped clear the air a bit for Gordon, at a time when people are finally realising the choice is not GB or TB, or GB or perfection, but GB or David Cameron who, under the slightest pressure, is beginning to look a bit flaky.

A few weeks ago, the Tories saw the leaders' debates, for example, as a guaranteed win-win-win for DC. I'm not sure they are feeling quite so confident now. When it comes to the debates, GB will of course be more on the political than the personal.

But the revealing of the more personal last night may mean that some are more willing to listen to the political than they were a few days ago. The mood is changing, in all sorts of ways.

Taken from

Alastair Campbell's latest novel, 'Maya', is published by Hutchinson