Friday, April 22, 2005
The Tory campaign involving the use of hand writing on billboards is meant to stake the claim that the Tory party voices the concerns of the public – it is an attempt to reduce the distance between the Conservatives and common sense. This elevation of common sense or common parlance to a level of authenticity is problematic. It is selective for a start – it takes key Conservative proposals and finds an everyday expression of them. But the elevation of common sense is problematic because it is wholesale. Much common parlance is anti-Conservative and not particularly polite. Some of everyday conversation is also against the Westminster consensus, for example, on issues of crime and immigration. The shift in strategy though indicates a lack of depth and leadership in current political debate. This is not unusual as far as the two main parties are concerned because, as many commentators have already noted, this election is about the narcissism of small differences (within a managerial context).