Labour MP urges party to ditch "simplistic and outdated" messaging

Rochdale's Labour MP Simon Danczuk has called on his party to stop "parroting slogans" and give its members the freedom to speak authentically.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk

In a blog post, published exclusively by PRWeek, he argues that the "iron message discipline" of New Labour, moulded by Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell and Philip Gould in the 1990s, no longer has the same resonance with electors.

He writes: "We've already been told, from the very top, to intertwine 'one nation' into every policy statement we make, to build it into speeches, to continually repeat the phrase 'one nation' at every opportunity. I’m beginning to worry we haven’t moved on from the 1990s." 

"Indeed, I've come to believe the public is actively turned off by the torturous repetition of political mantras. I don't think it's a coincidence that neither the Tories nor the Lib Dems have invested effort in coming up with a strapline that is expected to have so much resonance amongst the electorate - I think they understand such an approach is too simple and outdated," he continues.

He argues that it is critical for politicians to speak authentically to connect with the electorate, and this requires the use of stories and experiences to convey messages, not "parroting slogans."

"It isn't a coincidence that people like Boris Johnson, Frank Field, Tom Harris or Nigel Farage have the ability to communicate more effectively with the wider public - it's because they are perceived to speak their mind, to say not what their party wants them to say, but what they think," he writes.

Ed Miliband launched the One Nation Labour vision at the Labour Party conference in 2012. A year after the launch, a ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror found that almost half of voters (47%) said they did not know what "One Nation Labour" meant.

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