Never had it so good ...Never had it so good ...

House of Lords

Peer Of The Year and two days later he'd resigned as a Government adviser. Lord Young,  in The Daily Telegraph, said that most Britons had "never had it so good" despite the "so-called recession".  

The Prime Minister's enterprise adviser surely never expected his remarks could have such consequences.

While the views expressed in his interview were praised by many economists it had a very different effect on the media.  On a November Friday morning, Lord Young’s words were replayed again and again on news bulletins across the country. 

As Telegraph journalist Christopher Hope pointed out  “Lord Young’s error was to speak candidly about these politically-sensitive issues, with the detached air of an arm-chair general. Out on the frontline, the Prime Minister saw the damage that such comments could cause. Every job loss might be “marginal” to the wider economy – but it is a personal tragedy to every family affected.”

When facing any interview, preparation is key and time should spent considering who your words might reach and how they might be interpreted.  Audiences are sensitive and quick to judge those who appear to show little sensitivity or understanding of the lives of those listening.

In years past, Lord Young’s comments may have gone unnoticed, buried in a finance article, but the media is different these days.  With eyes and ears everywhere, there’s a need to be more considered when expressing personal views.  Get them across in the right way and you’re onto a winner. Get them wrong and the rest, as they say, is history.