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July 02, 2014

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rogerh

TBH I didn't know what Labour's or any other party's narrative was. Usually an accustomed liar goes in one ear and out the other. So I checked out their websites, and what I got from all three was a generic, crudely designed site saying 'gimme gimme, or push leaflets, push leaflets' and nothing about what any was about - or how it might be done. Very poor but not surprising.

I should be surprised if there is a wide range of credible narratives, all likely to say much the same which does not look so good. Then a bugbear with politicos is they seem to claim that this or that initiative dreamt up in 30 seconds and lasting five minutes is guaranteed to make Britain recover. Should any be so foolish as to engage with long term consistent plans, well they will soon find such plans reveal unpleasant truths, so sticking to the immediate and the flashy is the way to go, it all makes work for the working pol to do.

As things stand they can produce a narrative if they like but I doubt anyone will take any notice.

Donald

Hi Chris,

About Thatcher, was the rise in public spending mainly to do with unemployment and a small war? Or was more getting spent on public services etc?

Thanks

Donald

joe

Narrative in the modern marketing usage is not about making up a story. It is using a consistent theme to join up all the diverse policies so that they have recognisable common ambitions, common moral values, coherence etc that the public can easily recognise. The public either agrees with that direction or it does not.
It is what good leadership is about.
Events will change the tactics but the strategy and guiding principles will likely remain over a 5 year period.

Blissex

«Narrative in the modern marketing usage is not about making up a story. It is using a consistent theme to join up all the diverse policies so that they have recognisable common ambitions, common moral values, coherence etc that the public can easily recognise.»

Narratives in politics are the same, and are in effect theologies.

JM Keynes wrote that politicians are unwittingly enslaved to the narratives of dead economists, but that that did not go far enough.

Those politicians and economists are both enslaved far more deeply to the theologies of long dead preachers.

Someone recently wrote a book arguing very plausibly that the conservative narrative about the market is just the same as the old conservative narrative about God: that the market is all knowing, and just, and gives everybody their just deserts.

Ancient theologies still are the thinly disguises core of most economic and political narratives.

Blissex

«part of New Labour's narrative was "the creation of a stakeholder economy which involves all our people, not a privileged few*." But in fact, the subsequent two decades have seen an increased concentration of income and power into the hands of a privileged few.»

That New Labour narrative was about "aspiration" and as these narratives tend to be for obvious reasons just euphemistic dog-whistles.

The wink-and-nudge promise was that New Labour would redistribute ever more wealth to property owners (the "aspirational" "stakeholders") via massive tax-free capital gains easily cashable in via low cost remortgaging.

The promise was not to reduce the number of the "privileged few" but to create a larger number of "privileged many", to create many more landladies of the manor.

Those being the swing female middle aged and older voters in Southern marginal constituencies, who auction their votes to the best offer of tax-free capital gains.

As such the New Labour "narrative" as well understood by the intended audience was a winning vote-buying promise.

rogerh

I think joe is right about a narrative being the connective structure joining publicly presented ideas and statements together. But the narrative itself would likely remain secret and probably not written down - such gems as 'make noises about leaving EU but not really' - being unhelpful. Indeed such a narrative would probably not please all within the party all the time and be presented as different things to different people. So for a politician more of an adaptive game plan and less of a 5 year strategy.

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