Monday, April 24, 2006

We love the Chameleon

Ten years ago Conservative Central Office ran the "Demon Eyes" campaign with the slogan "New Labour New Danger" and various posters and merchandise, including a poster of a laughing Tony Blair with someone else's eyes superimposed.

It made a lot of people laugh - especially the badges with flashing eyes - but not the way we wanted. With 20:20 hindsight, this campaign demonstrated that we had no idea how to deal with Tony Blair.

This year New Labour, with their usual amazing ability to come up with an even worse version of the mistakes the Conservatives made when we were in government, unveiled their own version of Demon Eyes - a negative campaign against David Cameron called "Dave the Chameleon." It's intended to be subtly damning but just comes over as funny, not least because every significant criticism it makes of David Cameron is far more applicable to Tony Blair.

Dave isn't rattled - apparently he asked for a copy of the cartoon for his kitchen wall - and why should he be. It proves that the vaunted Labour spin machine has no more idea how to deal with him than we had of how to deal with Tony Blair ten years ago.

Labour's Dave the Chameleon PPB is funny enough in its original version, but an even better one has been put together by Tim Ireland and published at

www.backingblair.co.uk (the title is ironic.)

To give you an idea of what has been added, there is bar at he bottom with incremental production cost (One peerage - Two peerages - etc) and a note comes up every time the cartoon accuses Dave of one of Tony's favourite tricks with captions like "Fact - Tony Blair has never done this."

David Cameron was elected, not because the Conservative Party decided to junk everything it has ever stood for, but because some of our ideas needed to be updated to remain relevant to Britain today. David Cameron is doing this. To anyone who suggests that this makes him a hypocrite, I would remind them of the words of John Maynard Keynes, who was criticised for changing his position and replied

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do ?"

1 comment:

Ellee Seymour said...

Hi Chris, are you hoping to stand for the next general election? I have just been on the campaign trail in Huntingdonshire, it went quite well, though Richard has to win his seat from a long standing and well respected Lib Dem candidate who is not standing this time. I have just blogged about it.

When Labour goes on the attack, we can tell how worried they are. Richard is worried that some of his right wing older voters won't support him, says they would vote UKIP perhaps. I hope they will recognise he is a hard working and genuinely caring candidate.