INDEPENDENT NEWS

Lyndon Hood: This ->

Published: Mon 7 Aug 2017 02:31 PM
This ->By Lyndon Hood
It's been brought to my attention that Labour's new campaign slogan is "Let's do this".
A collective call to action. A mission. I myself was halfway out of the couch before I realised I wasn't sure what it was I was supposed to do.
For all they could just mean 'campaign in the general election' – they were doing that anyway but it's reassuring to think they're doing it deliberately – I can't help thinking there's more to this. For all I know, my vote may hinge on the question. I wouldn't want it to be something bad.
We can eliminate some options. For example, the surrealists taught us that this is not a pipe. Speaking of history, events have made clear Labour does not want this to be 'commit politically relevant petty crimes twenty years ago'. So, as far as the Greens' inconvenient sudden connection with the disenfranchised poor goes, this is not a love song.
We are talking about an increasingly common encouraging phrase. One use has achieved the kind of niche famousness you get on the Internet. Which I note in the hope that this also does not mean 'charging into the dragonspawn-infested Rookery in the Upper Blackrock Spire without any reference to your raiding party's elaborate plan, killing everyone'. I realise we all thought the election was going to be boring, but there is a limit.
Which still leaves us wondering about a positive meaning (relentless or otherwise).
Political slogans mostly mean what you want them to. For example National's slogan is 'Delivering For New Zealand'. What they're delivering is obviously supposed to be something nice (unless you're a malicious person in which case you can imagine something nasty). Probably not (despite their best efforts) pizza. Maybe – just possibly – the actual benefits they've been promising all this time while they've been reforming everything.
Or in Labour's case: To some people this might be 'wrestling the state back from uncaring bean counters'; to others this might be 'do something about immigrants, but phrase it politely'; to a select few this might be 'get together to brainstorm an emergency slogan change and just write down the first thing someone says'.
Probably all of this is true. But in my mind it means something more: to attain this-ness. To give the Labour Party the kind of thing-ish quality where you feel like it actually exists and you could, on a good day, point to it.
If you've followed New Zealand politics recently, you'll understand this is no small task.
Meanwhile the National Party is on social media explaining why their leader being an inanimate object is actually a good thing. It's possibly that political reality is spread so thin these days Labour and National can't both be real at the same time.
After thinking about these issues for a good long time I finally realized the truth.
This is why I'm not in charge of writing political slogans.

Next in Comment

HiveMind: Universal Basic Income - Are we up for it?
By: Hivemind
National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets
By: Lyndon Hood
What New Zealanders Think About Affordable Housing
By: Scoop Media and Public Engagement Projects
Opening the Election HiveMind: Freshwater Quality
By: HiveMind
Universal Basic Income - The Future of Work in Aotearoa?
By: Joseph Cederwall
Introducing a UBI in NZ – Insights from the Finnish Trial
By: Pii-Tuulia Nikula
A UBI may be a good idea – but.....
By: Michael Fletcher
Basic income could build community in age of individualism
By: Max Harris and Alexander E. Kentikelenis
National’s plan for young serious offenders
By: New Zealand National Party
Labour to New Zealand: Let’s do this
By: New Zealand Labour Party
Freshwater HiveMind Enters Week 2 – New Statements Added
By: Hivemind
Freshwater as a public good; healthy and sustainable water
By: Joseph Cederwall
Pressure on as Freshwater Rescue Plan gains support
By: Joint Press Release
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media