I wouldn't normally write about politics, there's plenty of people out there already sounding off. No one wants yet another voice.
But I can't help but feel it's worth quickly summing up what the UK party conferences managed to achieve. It might be a bit early, the Tories are yet to close theirs. But some of the results are, I think, becoming clear.
So to sum up:
The Lib Dems: what conference? they had the handicap of going first so we are least able to remember them. Try as I might no lasting communication emerged from their conference other than they are worried about their position in government going forward. Most people are left with the sense of a party that is nervous, bordering on desperate. Not a single policy message from the party managed to dislodge this view.
Labour: Energy prices. Ed Miliband, as better commentators than I pointed out, established his party as the party concerned about living standards and those struggling to get by. His policy is interventionist, but I'm not sure most people will be concerned about the underlying political nuance embedded in that. They see cheaper gas and electricity no matter how much noise the energy industry makes about it.
Conservatives: Well it's all about Ed Miliband and the Daily Mail. Compared to that the massages from the Tory conference was shouting in the wind - some of it got through, some of it didn't.
Organisations - business and politicians - have to compose compelling narratives about themselves, their policies, products or services. We have a tendency to be reductionist in our understanding of messages. Despite all the apparently sophisticated analysis that is available to inform us, we tend to reduce narratives to elements of conflict. The Lib Dems Vs everyone; Miliband Vs the Mail; The Tories Vs benefits or Vs the debt.
Some are worthy, some are not. One thing is sure if the key elements are missing, even if they are well articulated, our attention will wander. Miliband/Mail clash is interesting because it gives the Labour leader a universal motivation for action that goes beyond narrow political interests. Despite it's political content, the story is about fathers and sons. It's visceral, primal, and as I said, universal. Everyone has a father. We can all relate. Those that dissent inevitably appear cold, aloof, somewhat inhuman.
6 months ago