POLITICS

Ed Miliband's 'One Nation' Slogan 'Not An Election Winner', Says Labour MP

07/01/2014 12:41 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 15:53 GMT
Yui Mok/PA Wire
Ed Miliband delivering a speech on One Nation Politics, at The St Bride Foundation in Fleet Street, London.

Ed Miliband is turning off voters by forcing MPs into a "torturous repetition of political mantras" such as the party's "One Nation" slogan, one of his backbenchers has warned.

Repeatedly "parroting" phrases and using "vacuous sloganeering" causes people to switch off from politics and ultimately stay away from the ballot box on election day, Simon Danczuk said.

He urged the Labour leader to ditch the "on message" discipline instilled in the party by Lord Mandelson and Alastair Campbell under the Tony Blair years.

In a blog for trade magazine PR Week, the Rochdale MP wrote: "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."

Danczuk said the Opposition leader's "One Nation" party conference speech two years ago was a "land grab moment" but would not win the party the general election.

"It's not a general election winning strapline is it? The public isn't as accepting of such simple messaging any more. Indeed, I've come to believe the public is actively turned off by the torturous repetition of political mantras."

Danczuk also took a swipe at the Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps for repeatedly forcing the phrase "hardworking people" into his appearances on radio and television and highlighted the success of outspoken politicians such as Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Labour's Frank Field and Tom Harris and Ukip leader Nigel Farage in reaching out to voters.

He said: "The premium currency that politicians should be looking to trade in these days is authenticity, and that means using stories and experiences to convey the message, not parroting slogans. It's about showing character, imagination and a deeper understanding of people's lives.

"When the Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps pops up on the news and tries to crowbar the phrase 'for hardworking people' into every sentence no one honestly thinks he has any connection with the lives of people striving to do right for their families. It's just vacuous sloganeering."

The Conservative Party's slogan was also criticised by Tory MP Margot James as soon as it was unveiled. The Stourbridge MP told a meeting at the party's conference in October that the phrase "excludes" too many voters.

"When it came through my letter box I thought 'oh my god I don't like that'. Because of course we are on the side of hardworking people, that is the essence of what this government is about, but it excludes too many people," she said.