...being my sloganising execution of the Mike Smithson/Alan Johnson anti-Tory strategy: acknowledge David Cameron’s personal appeal “but raise the spectre of what in the party is behind him”.
Could it work at all? Maybe.
The genius of my slogan (even if I do say so myself) is that the ‘shame’ is unspecified – it could mean any doubts the individual voter has about what the Tories might do in power. Still too socially reactionary? Too keen on cuts? Too pie-in-the-sky? Too non-existent? Shame.
In this respect it’s a bit like ‘New Labour, new danger’, which could equally well allude to any number of supposed dangers. And that particular slogan worked out, er, um... not too well. But it was too overtly, ferociously hostile and went against the public grain. ‘Nice guy, shame about the policies’ meets the swing voters halfway.
(One other point: in light of the Damian McBride smear emails, it could be risky for Gordon Brown to run a poster campaign against Cameron using the words ‘nice’ and ‘shame’.)