The end of spin?

According to Sky News, the big three political parties and big three UK news broadcasters have finally agreed a deal on the live election debates! The first (of three) will be held in the North West, screened live on ITV. We’ll only know the dates once GB announces the election date. (Update: Independent “has learnt” that they’ll be on 15, 22 and 28 April)

Faced with a studio audience of 200 people, how will the leaders handle live TV  debates? PMQs should have given them plenty of experience, but it’s not really the same. The comms directors and press officers can prepare Brown, Cameron and Clegg as much as they want, but they can’t control what comes out of their mouths. Should be fun.

David Cameron is trying to take on a bit of the Obama election glow by ripping off the President with the ‘Vote for Change’ slogan. Dull, empty and uninspiring, especially when compared to Obama’s campaign. Then again, nothing is likely to match up to the last American election.

I had to read the Labour slogan two or three times before I (kind of) got it. ‘A future fair for all’. Is Gordon Brown inviting the nation to a big space-age fun fair? Would ‘ A fair future for all’ make more sense? Either way, it doesn’t really say anything apart from an overarching generic reference to fairness. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when the alternative is simply ‘change’. The Daily Mail points out that it was used 7 years ago, so definitely not new or fresh ––Brown-unveils-new-slogan–used-seven-years-ago.html

There’s no ‘New Labour New Britain’ equivalent this time, unless the Lib Dems surprise us with some profound wordplay.

So, with live TV debates and boring election slogans, are we seeing a clear, intentional move away from the ‘spin’ characterised by Alistair Campbell/Malcolm Tucker?

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