Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Comparing the Parties

The Queen's Speech is the first burst of permanent campaigning that emerges from the new parliamentary year, if offers each of the parties the opportunity to set out their own stalls and of course push over the stalls of their opponents if possible. So what are they talking about.

Labour's is the touchy-feely caring style Gordon Brown is offering. The focus on education, equality and the NHS invokes traditional party values and allows him to position himself as a leader in touch with concerns and caring about the people.

The Conservatives adopt a slightly critical tone, though use the opportunity to present their front bench team and highlight their alternative approach to politics.

The Liberal Democrats lack a charismatic front man, but they also set out their stall while suggesting there are too many similarities between Cameron and Brown and their parties. It is a little cheap but makes their point.

As is typical, the governing party take a wholly positive note and Brown is self-promotional, opposing parties refer negatively to the government, the Liberal Democrats also referencing the Conservatives. But it is at least refreshing to note that they set out their stall as opposed to simply rubbishing opponents. I make this point given that I am sure I recall that a couple of years ago Labour offered as their queen's speech broadcast an appearance by Dave the Chameleon, a wholly personal attack on Cameron. The problem is which is more memorable, these three selections of talking head shots which my students described as dull, or the negative approach that was funny and memorable; should we despair?

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