Secret lunches, off-the-record briefings, the leaking of confidential information and tightly-organised media launches - the well-known world of modern political spin. But is this really a new phenomenon or have politicians been manipulating the press for as long as newspapers have existed? In this important new book, Paul Brighton shows that spin is not something dreamed up by modern, media-savvy politicians. In fact, it was one of the best-kept political secrets of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. From Peel and Palmerston to Gladstone and Disraeli, Prime Ministers have all tried to manipulate the press to a greater or lesser extent. Brighton uncovers the covert contacts between Westminster and Fleet Street and reveals how the Victorian occupants of 10 Downing Street secretly conveyed their viewpoints via the newspapers. For the first time, "Original Spin" tells the whole, unvarnished, story.
Paul Brighton is Executive Principal Lecturer and Head of the Department of Media and Film at the University of Wolverhampton. He was previously a journalist and worked for BBC Radio 4 and BBC News 24.