Friday, October 05, 2012

The Right Message?

After two and a half years in government there are many messages that perhaps should be communicated. Backed by an email campaign and webpage, foreshadowing the Conservative's conference, this is the message they seem to want to get out to voters. Of course it will go down well with their supporters, research shows that attacks always do (see for example the work of Stephen Ansolabehere). But surely the target of the message is the floating voter, or more likely the person who voted Conservative in 2010 but may have become disillusioned with the party (or indeed the coalition government) and may be reconsidering their choice following what was regarded as a 'spectacular' performance by Ed Miliband at Labour's Conference.

But will it work. Will it make those wavering Conservative supporters reconsider? Creating a little bit of cognitive dissonance to juxtapose the post conference euphoria? Or will it make the Conservatives seem a little desperate? Having nothing positive to say about their own record they go into attack mode. It is a question of perceptions but it could be a risky strategy for a government that have never fully won the approval of the voters. 


Paul Noonan said...

The slogan is effective at reminding voters that Labour caused our national deficit, and simultaneously reminding them that this is why unpopular "austerity" measures are necessary.

The slogan also helps remove some of the gloss from Labour's flashy policy announcements, by reminding them of the cost involved.

The Labour Party's great con-trick over the past 50 years has been to present high levels of public spending as a form of altruism. In reality, this means stealing large sums of tax money by force from hard-working families, taking away our liberty to spend the "fruits of our own Labour" and then bribing us at Elections with our own money!

What the Conservatives should be doing, is constructing a narrative that challenges this socialist notion of "altruism", and argues that low public spending is actually more "ethical" because it leaves more money in the hands of those who have earned it, and does not lumber future generations with debts resulting from the profligacy of today's generation.

If they could also challenge the notion that tax should be based on an "afford-to-pay" principle (instead of being based on rewarding responsible behaviour, such as saving and investing) and challenge the notion that welfare payments should be based on "need" instead of "desert", they might really get somewhere.

Another narrative they should be promoting is the idea that public services ought to be designed to benefit those who use them, not those who work in them.

The Tories are too afraid of challenging these entrenched socialist ideals, which is why the debate over public spending is restricted to an argument about how to cut the deficit.

Nobody ever questions whether it would be moral to be spending all this taxpayers money even if we didn't have a Greece-sized deficit.

Richard S said...

The ad campaign is a pastich of Labour isnt working aka 1978/9 the irony there was that under a tory government we had record unemployment in the early 1980's

as a piece of advertising it is, pardon the pun, laboured....

Meryl M said...

The Labour slating seemed to work as a reason to vote Tory before and probably will work again.

Personally, I think it looks desperate when the Tories are in power and the deficit has actually grown.

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