Monday, 19 April 2010

A Critical Line of Attack for Cameron

Over the last few days, I have been watching the unfolding hype and drama surrounding Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats looking for a major flaw in their approach.

Watching the media reports it has become clear that one of the Lib Dem 'Lines to Take' is to refer to the Conservatives and Labour as 'The Old Partys'. Clegg keeps saying it. His spokesperson team keep saying it on Sky, the BBC, ITV, everywhere, repeatedly. This positioning is now firmly embedded in the minds of the electorate. It infers that the Lib Dems are new and therefore represent a big change.

It's a lie. A great big whopper.

The Liberal party was established in the mid 1800's from the The British Whig Party of the late 1600's! The Liberal Democrats were formed from an amalgamation of the Liberals and a breakaway faction of Socialists from the Labour party!

So to infer that the Conservatives and Labour are the 'Old Partys' when the Liberals are so clearly formed from a party that first emerged in the late 1600s, and from a group of people from one of the so called 'Old Partys is patently absurd!

It might sound strange, but to the country at large who believe the Lib Dems really are a new 'breath of fresh air' this news will shatter that impression. Start thinking outside the Westminster village and this will start to make sense. Stick this in your focus group pipe and smoke it!

The lie represents an opportunity to:

1) Show Clegg up to be a liar. Someone who is deliberately positioning himself as the 'Change' guy on a false basis.

2) Drive the Labour leaning swing voters to the Lib Dems

3) Drive the Conservative leaning swing voters to the Conservatives.

I would suggest that DC says exactly the following in the next debate:

'I am sorry Nick, but I have seen and heard you and your team repeatedly referring to Conservatives and Labour as the 'Old Partys'. It is simply untrue. As we all know the Liberal Democrats was formed from the old Liberal Party, that goes back to the Whigs in the 1600's, and a small group of breakaway SOCIALIST Labour politicians!'

'So for you to pretend.... that your policy for blah blah blah is a new idea when it was something that failed in the 1950's or pretend that.....'

DC needs to re-establish himself as the genuine 'Change' option but to simply repeat it will not make them believe it. He needs to justify it and to take down the 'Young Pretender'.

So, to take down the Young Pretender, the critical Line to Take is to blow apart this 'Old Party's' line that the Lib Dems are punting to expose their dishonesty. Cameron will NOT get ahead with this but he will neutralise the threat, arrest it's development and can then go on to start winning the ground back.

By associating the Lib Dems accurately and honestly (and therefore sustainably) with 'Socialism' the left leaning undecided voters who don't object to the Clegg lie will vote Lib Dem. i.e. the Lab vote gets split.

But the right leaning people will have two good reasons to go Conservative - 1) Clegg is another liar politician who is trying to look like the new clean guy. 2) The Lib Dems are..... dreaded word.... 'Socialists!!!' yuk - this word still resonates negatively (remember how Blair used to try and sheepishly explain it away..)

The key word to repeatedly use is 'pretend'. Every Conservative who speaks about this issue and refers to the Lib Dems and their policies should embed the word 'pretend' or 'pretence' or 'pretender' in sentences about Lib Dems and their policies because Clegg and the Lib Dems are just that.

Expose the lie. The reason Clegg is doing well is because people really do want change and are prepared to believe in it.. Cameron hasn't described change properly, and seems like part of the problem, so he must unseat the pretend 'Change Guy' first and then start building the change message properly.

Perhaps the Lib Dem Obamaesque slogan should be 'Change you Really Want to Believe In but Can't Because You Know we are Lying to You'.

Catchy init.. not.


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