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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Music to campaign by

John Harris' piece in today's Guardian is a wonderfully wry look at how political parties utilise popular music to set the tone of their campaign.

I have been racking my brain to remember the music used by the SDP in the 1980s to herald the arrival of their cavalcades during by-elections. I suspect that it was "Fanfare for the common man" but no doubt I will be corrected. Either way it created an atmosphere of excitement at open air events that has rarely been matched in my experience. Those were the days when the mould of British politics was going to broken by a brash new party that did not play by the old rules - except that they did and the mould proved much tougher than they could have imagined.

I did enjoy the passage about William Hague and his failure to check the lyrics of "Man next door":

September 2000, for example, saw the reliably accident-prone William Hague taking the stage at a Conservative event to the strains of Massive Attack's Man Next Door. It was an odd choice: an unsettling evocation of domestic discord which hardly did Hague any favours. "Here is a man that live next door. in my neighbourhood," went its lyric, "And he gets me down... He gets in so late at night/ Always a fuss and fight."

Equally, I am suitably embarrassed by my party's choice of a song by Boyzone's Stephen Gately in 2001. New Labour's embracing of 'Beautiful Day', formerly the theme song for the John Kerry Presidential campaign is interesting. It's declaration that "You're out of luck... The traffic is stuck/ And you're not moving anywhere." proved prophetic for Kerry. Will it also apply to Labour in 2005?
The challenge to find a decent campaign song for the Lib Dems is on. See my posting here.
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