Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ribbons or Rosettes?

ConservativeHome readers have reacted rather positively to the idea of replacing blue rosettes with a blue ribbon. I do too. I have always found rosettes vaguely embarrassing to wear. A ribbon, however, is, well, more of the age. To my astonishment, my estimable ex-colleague on the DD campaign Derek Conway MP also agrees...
"I always feel a bit of prat when I'm wearing one. The only time I wore one
at the last election was at the count and I was worried it gives an aiming point
to the disgruntled. I think most politicians look faintly ridiculous when they
wear a rosette and the average voter groans when they see a candidate wearing
one approaching them in the street.

Careful Derek. We might think you've become a moderniser! To see what the good burghers of Bloomsbury make of the ribbons click HERE.


Chris Paul said...

Of course the Red Ribbon symbol is already taken. That wouldn't be part of the calculation now would it?

These ideas of yours of blurring the differences between charities and political organisations seem to run counter to some of your stated points of view.

Political parties are NOT charities. Charities are barred from party political activity. Including think tanks.

Anonymous said...

I like rosettes. That way I can see them coming from a mile away and leg it.

Anonymous said...

Gutted - I will miss them.. How are we going to reward the winners in the Gymkana now ?

Anonymous said...

A rosette may be big and loud, but on the door step, an elector knows straight away why you are there.

If it was a small blue/green pin, they would never see it, especially at this time of the year.

Leave the rosette alone. It took the party until the 1970 general election for all constituencies to use blue, even though blue was adopted in 1947.

(up until the 1966 elections, Newcastle still used patriotic red !).

Anonymous said...

Not really sure what Chris' comment is about!

Anyhow I don't like rosettes and have never worn one but I don't see that a ribbon will have the same instant recognition factor nor will it allow the displaying of a party or candidate name.

I also think it's a bit of an open goal to those who want to accuse Mr Dave of being more focussed on small and shallow things rather than policies.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Chris Paul to a large extent, as it would be a bit of a cop-out if the main opposition party in UK politics couldn't think of anything more original than using a blue ribbon.

If they added some text or an image to the ribbon, that would at least give it a hint of originality.

S B said...

I've got to say, I do like the rosettes, but I think these ribbons could add a bit of class.

As somebody on the Conservative Home website mentioned, however, this is an upside down SNP logo!

Steven Bainbridge
A View from the Right

Croydonian said...

Erm, blue ribbons also symbolise, inter alia, the following:

In Japan, a blue ribbon is a symbol against abduction by North Korea (DPRK, Kim's government).

In 2004, the use of blue ribbons began for Leukodystrophy awareness in the U.S. and abroad.

In Victoria, Australia, the blue ribbon is the symbol of remembrance for police officers killed in the line of duty.

In Canada, it is the symbol of an anti-tobacco, anti-second hand smoke campaign. Also it has same meaning in Japan.

The "Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign" is an online campaign by the EFF endorsing the protection of free speech on the Internet.

In Spain, a blue ribbon has been used by those opposing the terrorism of ETA

And there's plenty more here. Most colours are already associated with at least one campaign...

Anonymous said...

I think the rosette should be compulsory and at least a foot across. The more warning the public get the quicker they can get the baby out of harms way.

Anonymous said...

I am a Conservative. I dislike change.

Anonymous said...

I think ribbons are a daft idea, because:

Dishonest blurring of politics/charity boundaries

Too obviously aimed at youth vote - may rebound on you

Poor recognition factor

Confusion factor

Religious groups confusion factor

Reinforces the utopian image which many dislike

Poor reassurance & security factor

Will waste vital time

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Is the person who came up with this idea an office bound campaigner who's not knocked on many (any?) doors at election time?

Add 1-3 minutes to every door canvassers knock at if ribbons are adopted. Established and successful patterns of time management for canvassers will go haywire and vital coverage will be reduced.

That's fine if you're going to have a walkover - but you're not. There will be other parties using established canvassing techniques who will get better coverage than the Conservatives do.

Standing as an Independent I had no instant recognition, so had to spend minutes longer than canvassers from the main parties at every door just to explain that I was a political candidate, not a religious fundamentalist or salesperson, and which 'party' I represented. That was before I could engage with the person about the issues.

That meant I canvassed fewer electors and won fewer votes.

Time is at a premium when canvassing. If you're doing it conscientiously you're rushing from door, area to area and constantly exhausted. The more tired you become, the less convincing you are. Instant recognition is a vital advantage that you'd be crazy to throw away. It saves so much precious time - and conserves canvassers' stamina and zeal.

Also, re security. Elderly people often need reassurance before opening their door to anyone. A rosette is visible even through frosted glass and provides that vital recogniition, reassurance and security. Ribbons won't do that - so more time will be wasted explaining through the glass - and less votes won.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

They always say big girls like ribbons

Anonymous said...

Hmm...So what will I have to do with my 'Vote B'Stard!' rosette - surely he wouldn't go down the ribbon route, even if he is part of New Labour [at the moment] ?

Although the idea of adding some green to the ribbon does give this the vibe of an idea dreamed up by a committee.

Perhaps what they 'canvassers' really need are those 'chugging' tabards which are 'de rigeur' for those prowling our high streets looking for people to talk to.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 10.25 and anon. 10.31 are completely right. It's a ridiculous idea, presumably meant to be a symbol of modernisation or whatever, but it shows no understanding of what real life, certainly (politically) on the ground, is like. I despair.

thatcher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Newmania said...

No no no this is a horrible idea it says exactly what everyone is complaining about which is that the same people are wearing slightly different clothes and are only concerned with image.

You Iain were politically active at University .I was getting pissed and in a band ( about the same time actually an odd thought). I am cool . You are less so.Sorry but you can`t have it all.

Take my word for it the new icky design will be another type of conformism and that is never , never cool. I greatly enjoy the reaction I get with my rosette which I wear with pride to show i do not agree with the crowd ( around here)

AND I do not want to pretend to be a bit like a Greeny Liberal marketing director with a pony tail.

Is nothing sacred. Yeeesh.

Doughty Street fantastic last night can`t wait to see Croydonian this evening.It was so funny how ridiculous those Libertarians made themselves with the smallest of help but the middle one was the best

Who was he ?( Sorry for digression)

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see and hear what my customers have to tell me up here, I'm sure they will think I've gone bonkers asking such a silly question in the Corner Shop.
For many years the traditional colour
for Tory rosettes in the North-East was red, didn't you know?

Anonymous said...

in May 1984, Mike Ebbs, the Conservative Candidiate in the Wirral Ward of Liscard (in the Wallasey constituency)collapsed in the middle of his third recount.

Taken to Arrowe Park Hospital, Birkenhead he regained consciousness to find an Irish sister looking at him wearing his Blue Rossette telling him off saying, "Ruddy football supporters, always causing trouble"

Indicidentally he won with a majority of 5.