Will this 30 year old ad have the same potency?
Is reminding voters of Thatcher really a good idea?
The poster above from Maggie Thatcher’s successful campaign in 1979 is, according to the Spectator Coffee House, being re-worked to form the central party theme of the coming general election.
The concept seems dead simple and how smart, you can see them thinking, to link it to the iconic campaign of thirty years ago. This was the last time, it should be said, that the Tories came back to power after winning against Labour.
But isn’t this being too clever by half? Yea Yea a few political aficionados will like it and it all seems very clever – but how many of the voters next time will have any memory of what happened three decades ago? The world has simply moved on.
There are a couple of obvious issues. Firstly Margaret Thatcher might still be the darling of the right but she still provokes a lot of negatives. Is it smart to remind voters of her?
Secondly the original ad had another more subtle message that wasn’t just linked to unemployment. In the spring of 1979 the country was just starting to recover from the so-called “winter of discontent” when there were strikes right across the UK hitting aspects of life that had until been strike-free. The famous ad was a reminder of that.
Cameron needs a positive message – a big idea that brings it all together. I’m not convinced by the poster plan.