Where’s the Slogans?
Apart from the amusing ‘I agree with Nick’ meme (be sure that’s not going to repeated in this week’s debate!) there’s been a notable absence of political catchphrases thus far in the election. Only Cameron has really made a stab at it with his ‘Big Society’ theme – and most commentators agree that no-one on the ground actually knows what that’s supposed to encapsulate.
Of course, we don’t want the election to become all about slogans – it’s empty enough as it is. But even so, those little verbal hooks are the kind of thing that have determined political outcomes down the years. Think back to “Tory sleaze”… “Labour isn’t working”… “Britain deserves better” and so on. All of them gave voters an easily identifiable point of orientation about what parties stood for – even if they were vacuous.
Compare with the US, where 2008′s election saw a raft of slogans and amusing t-shirts. Maybe US participation in politics is a great deal higher than here – and as such people are more prepared to publically proclaim their party allegiances, but even a search on Google for “election t-shirts” brings back almost nothing from the UK – and even the UK sites are selling mainly Obama t-shirts, of all bloody things. The only notable exception I could find was on Red Molotov – which has a mixture of t-shirts with UK political themes.
It’s really surprising given that one of the things that irks people about this election is the reliance on PR, spin and the media (both Cameron and Clegg are ex PR men) so you’d expect them to be able to come up with something a bit pithier and memorable than “Change that works for you. Building a fairer Britain”.
So, I guess if you’re after something like that to show the world that you’re proud to be Labour, Tory or Lib Dem, you’ll have to come up with your own slogan and get your own t shirt printing done too. My favourite idea is just a picture of Gordon Brown with the word C**T written underneath it. Perhaps you can think of something wittier and less scatological!