Prezza dogged by mocking media

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith once described the relationship between politicians and the press as that of 'sailor and the sea.'

Since the Prescott story broke a few weeks ago, the cling on Deputy Prime Minister has been dogged by the mocking media.

Reports of his infamous affairs and dodgy dealings with US millionaires have prompted the media to pursue a personal 'Get Prezza' campaign where they are determind to oust the former merchant seaman who came to power as the one who was going to free politics from sleaze and hypocrisy.

However, Prezza, at the moment is winning the battle against the hounding press pack, as he manages to cling on to one of  his grace and favour homes, his beloved wife Pauline, as well as his  £100,000 plus salary.

In 1992, the Sun, the paper that can virtually make or break politicians, or indeed help a political party rise to power, managed to prevent former leader Neil Kinnock seizing the keys  to Downing Street, with the unforgettable headline: 'Would the last person to leave Britain, please remember to turn out the lights?'

It was a powerful message of foreboding calculated to put the fear of God into British voters about the prospects of them electing a high-taxing Labour government. Kinnock lost the poll.

With the rise of David Cameron as the new superhero of the Tory Party, what campaign will the Sun, and indeed the rest of the press, be running at the next election?

Gordon Brown is tipped to be the new Labour leader and possible PM, but how will a British press take to the UK being run by a Scottish leader? - Will it get that far?

We know Tony Blair hopes to serve another third term in office, but what will the party conference season in September bring for all parties, Red, Blue and Yellow?

September is a crucial time in the political calendar when the party's hustle for position and votes, as politicos in the media analyse their every breath, whimper and whinge.

Mr Prescott's months of wrangling with the media may come to a head, as criticism of his actual role in Government appear to come to a head again and again.

Fears that the Labour Conference will become a farce, with the party faithful dressing up in Cowboy outfits to  vent their anger at the way they are being treated by this  nanny  government.   If it happened, no doubt  it would   fuel the media's half empty  tank.

The press, for all its faults, since the Thatcher era, and well into Blair's mid-term, have been the checks and balances of our democracy and sometimes the only real opposition to Blair's 'New' Labour juggernaut. In that time, we journalists have seen high-ranking politicians being ousted for incompetence and deception.

But Prescott is still clinging on for dear life. It would take a sudden gust of wind for him to be knocked off his high pedestal, as so far, the media have failed to deliver the knock out blow which will see him fall to the depths of political despair.

Iain Duncan Smith was right - the media have given Prescott a stormy ride, but the ship hasn't sunk yet for him, or indeed his party.

The situation does have the feel of the 1980s early '90s all over again. Will Blair be forced out of office? At present that is unlikely, but, looking at a similar scenario which saw a giant of a PM toppled,   the media and the Tories certainly did their best to oust 'Iron Lady' Thatcher.

I't's surely only a matter of time - and that time is certainly coming ever nearer - when the same fate befalls Prezza, Blair and the charlatans of   'New' Labour.