Thursday, April 20, 2006


Local elections are coming up in Britain (Thursday 4th of May) and I just learnt that Labour is running an interesting and intelligent campaign.

As I have written about before, the Tories now have a new party leader – David Cameron. In a rather short period of time he has taken a lot of different political positions, normally depending on the audience he is talking to. He is also trying to establish himself as the new, fresh alternative. Does it sound familiar to Swedish voters as well?

In the campaign, David Cameron is portrayed as a chameleon, and the song used in the TV-ad is – of course – Boy George’s ”Karma Chameleon”. You can watch the campaign site and the TV-ad here.

The campaign would probably be too tough for a Swedish audience, but my thoughts wandered to Sweden’s “new Moderates/Conservatives”. Changing colors all the time, but still true blue when it comes to real politics.

Already in 2004
I argued that the Swedish Social Democratic party should not use a flip-flop campaign against Reinfeldt, but rather point out that their policy proposals are as right-wing as ever. But the Labour campaign is a funny and intelligent way to use flip-flip in order to illustrate that the Tories haven’t changed.

After all, Labour still knows how to do it.


Blogger Pickles said...

I love the Dave the Chameleon campaign - it's caused a massive amount of publicity over here.

It's the first time since the general election that we've succesfully got a message out to a wider public than the narrow westminster bubble.

We did something similar in 2004 for the local and European elections. Essentially a new conservative leader with Michael Howard was being touted as a newer brighter face (!) so we tried to get in first to "define" his public image before he had a chance to.

Then it was as a nasty tory who wanted to bring back boom and bust economics and the poll tax. Now it's Cameron the Chameleon. It worked then - but the media were more on side then. (didn't feel like it at the time - we thought it couldn't get worse)

I hope it works this time. Meanwhile they're trying to position Gordon Brown as the "road-block to reform" which is essentially about saying that "reform" to public services is vital for Britain's future - in that sense Cameron is the "heir to Blair" whilst Gordon Brown who opposes many of the reforms is the old fashioned out of date dangerous lefty.

It won't work because 1. Gordon Brown doesn;t oppose the reforms 2. Brown will push forward with the reforms when prime minister 3. Aside from education the Tories have opposed the reforms.

Anyway - that's a little background on what might seem like a bit of a surreal little film.

21/4/06 04:09  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

Interesting indeed, did not know about the "road-block to reform". What are your hopes for the local elections?

24/4/06 11:53  
Blogger Pickles said...

"hopes" is one way of looking at it.

The Home Secretary is under pressure for releasing 1000 foreign criminals onto the streets. The list includes convicted murderers etc. Which is about the worst possible story for election week.

Added to that the Health Secretary is under pressure because the Health Service is sacking several thousand nurses and the Deputy Prime Minister has been having an affair.

It's great. We're really getting the message accross.

Having said that everyone is trying to imply that we're going to have some kind of major crisis and I'm not convinced - the elections will be bad but probably not as abysmal as Coke Cameron is telling everyone.

1/5/06 11:50  

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