Will the “Flip-Flop Chameleon” Spin Work?

New Labour believes that they have to define the opponent in the public mind and frame the terms of the debate to destroy him. Hague, IDS and Howard got the treatment. With Cameron they have hesitated, apparently at Blair’s behest and to the dismay of Brown. Now we are led to believe they have agreed an attack and they intend to define Cameron as an unreliable policy chameleon – a flip-flopper. The on message, loyalist Labour whip, Tom Watson MP, blogs this spin (with a very colourful graphic). Whomever wrote Prescott’s recent speech to the Labour Party Centenary Conference summarised the line neatly:

He’s like a rainbow. The Yellow Cameron. The Red Cameron. The Green Cameron. The Blue Cameron. What we’ve got, is Cameron the Chameleon. He can change the colour of his skin at will but the political animal underneath is Conservative to the core.

As much as Tom Watson and the activist core loves this line of attack, they should be self aware enough to know that Labour performed a total policy flip-flop from the pre-1996 policies advocated by Messrs Blair and Brown to reach their 2006 policies. They flipped and are still flopping.

All Cameron has to do is say “yes, it’s true, we have changed” and this line of attack is neutralised. That is after all what the voters wanted. Change. Calling Cameron a flip-flopper clearly highlights and confirms the change for him. Advertisers always like to keep the message simple – the New Tory message is “we have changed”. The details are irrelevant to most voters. Daz does not advertise Persil’s new formula, why is New Labour advertising New Tory policy changes?

The Kerry precedent is not directly comparable – Kerry flipped, flopped and flipped again and again. The man was a policy oscillator. If Cameron retreats on a future policy change Labour may have a valid charge. But he hasn’t so far, and unless he does, this line of attack won’t work.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

John McDonnell does a funny:

“I’m told there are a group of KGB colonels who are suing The Sun for associating themselves with us.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Mr Toynbee’s Fine Dining Brass Neck Mr Toynbee’s Fine Dining Brass Neck
Labour and Communists Hold “Co-Operation” Meeting Labour and Communists Hold “Co-Operation” Meeting
Camilla Tominey on Labour’s Smears Hypocrisy Camilla Tominey on Labour’s Smears Hypocrisy
Dugher vs Skwawkbox Dugher vs Skwawkbox
Remembering the STB Remembering the STB
Even Remainers Think BBC Is Anti-Brexit Even Remainers Think BBC Is Anti-Brexit
Millions of Students Affected by Lecturers Strike Millions of Students Affected by Lecturers Strike
Corbyn Considering Backing Customs Union Corbyn Considering Backing Customs Union
CIA Files Reveal US Spies Kept Tabs on Corbyn CIA Files Reveal US Spies Kept Tabs on Corbyn
Cabinet Sub-Committee Committed to Divergence and Taking Back Control of Laws Cabinet Sub-Committee Committed to Divergence and Taking Back Control of Laws
Stasi Files: Corbyn’s Peace Group Infiltrated by Spies Stasi Files: Corbyn’s Peace Group Infiltrated by Spies
Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks” Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks”
Read: Stasi File on Labour Party Read: Stasi File on Labour Party
LISTEN: Labour MPs Knowingly Meet Foreign Spies Every Day LISTEN: Labour MPs Knowingly Meet Foreign Spies Every Day
BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons” BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons”
Tory ERG MPs Remind May of Her Commitment to Take Back Control of Laws and Trade Tory ERG MPs Remind May of Her Commitment to Take Back Control of Laws and Trade
Aaronovitch Talking S*it Aaronovitch Talking S*it
Live In Truth: Corbyn vs Havel Live In Truth: Corbyn vs Havel
Watson Now Opposes Airing Lurid Historic Claims Against MPs Watson Now Opposes Airing Lurid Historic Claims Against MPs
Green: I Wasn’t Inappropriate to Kate Maltby Green: I Wasn’t Inappropriate to Kate Maltby