Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What are the point of parties having shops

Well if: "you've ever had your heart set on an official Conservative Party mug, an 'It's time for a Change' baby-grow, or even a 'Honk for Change' car sticker, then I've got some good news for you" is the opening line of the promotional email send under the name of party chairman Eric Pickles. The 'goodies' are not exactly original, I am unsure how often 'Time for Change' has been used in some form as a slogan, though it is expected of any challenger when their opponents have had incumbency for a long period of time. Equally Honk for... car stickers were popularised during the contest to be nominee and President in the US - even with a Honk if Hillary scares you variant. I quite like the T-shirts 'Don't blame me I voted Tory' and 'Release your inner Tory', winners of the party's recent competition, and they are quite amusing in a non-political way while getting a message across.

But are these things that will really have any impact in terms of support and visible endorsement or contributing to the party funds? The latter I doubt a lot, and lets face it if there is even an expectation that there will be a financial impact then the party are in trouble financially and strategically. It is the former where these may be important. There are a range of impressions such things convey, wit and humour firstly which can defuse some of the negative impressions of politics. Secondly they are a visible expression of support and may have influence on people if they are seen around. Thirdly, and important in terms of campaigning locally, a team of people wearing Conservative logos and slogans can create a buzz on the streets. It shows a presence, it raises the profile of the campaing locally and gives the impression that there is an enthusiasm and excitement for the campaign.

Perhaps actually this is something that all parties should consider supplying to their activists. A uniform T-shirt that gives the party visibility beyond the rosette or badge. It may not be the latest fashion item or be worn down the shops or in the bar, but as a campaign tool it may have a deeper significance.

1 comment:

Praguetory said...

The Conservative Party. Eating babies since 1678.