One thing the last Blair/Brown government was good at was spin. They got their MPs and supporters to repeat over and over again the same mantras.
Whatever the question about the economy, they told us “No more Tory boom and bust”.
Whatever the complaint about yet another Labour tax rise, they told us “No more Tory tax rises”.
Current state spending was called investment. They told us it was all for better schools and hospitals – “no more spending on Tory economic failure”
They posed as the architects of a more equal UK, and told us they would lead a manufacturing revival.
Instead, we had a bigger boom and bust than any of the cycles since the 1930s. We had more tax rises than under the Conservatives. Social security spending leapt upwards. Inequality rose. Manufacturing continued to sink as a proportion of the total.
Today some of the spin lives on. There are times when the Coalition seems driven by inaccurate Labour spin, frightened to challenge the totems of the former era.
The Coalition is also shy about making its own claims for itself.
What is the purpose of the health reforms? I say to offer more choice and better treatment. What is the official official slogan?
What is the attitude to taxation? Is it a necessary evil which on the whole does harm, or is it a moral crusade, a way of changing people’s lives and behaviour?
What is the attitude to savings? Are savers good? If so, why are they penalised with ultra low interest rates and inflation?
The Coalition needs some strong new high level messages. It would also be refreshing if they are accurate, unlike the Brown/Blair ones.