Conclusion: Everything Must Go
A defining characteristic of the so-called ‘new’ Labour project is its ignorance of history. This is self-evident in a strategy that has continually emphasised the importance of the present and future over the past.1
The party’s approach to political communication is offered as an example of how much Labour’s image has been transformed or, to use Tony Blair’s preferred phrase, ‘modernized’. By contrast this study has attempted to place recent developments in historical context and is mindful of theorist Philip Kotler’s observation: ‘Campaigning has always had a marketing character. The new ‘methodology’ is not the introduction of marketing methods into politics, but an increased sophistication and acceleration in their use’. Drawing on his own experience the eminent practitioner Winston Fletcher has developed this point:
So far from political advertisers copying baked beans and detergents, as the oft-repeated cliché has it, baked beans and detergents have been copying political advertisers, for ages. This should not be surprising. Persuasive communication is the essence of politics, and has been since the dawn of time. The marketing of branded consumer goods is a relative newcomer to the scene.2
KeywordsFocus Group Policy Review Labour Party Electoral Success Universal Suffrage
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.