“If you act and work as Conservative in all but name, why not be Conservative?”

The Dissenter has a got a nice piece breaking down the latest ruction inside the Northern Ireland Conservatives… He exams the case being made by some for changing the name of the party, and concludes:

The electorate is not stupid and will look for substance over presentation, a unity of purpose in moving forward and a principle and policy that is coherent, credible and meaningful to them by values (usually historical/familial), present circumstances and future aspiration for themselves and their family. The first thing they will not think about is the name of the Party they are voting for, it will be an affinity and confidence in the values, policy and vision of a real alternative in which they can believe.

If we move away from politics and into the business of branding, of which name and visual image is a small part, we remember the successful Accenture or British Gas, while forgetting the failures such as Consignia or the visual disaster of British Airways World designs. We also neglect the most successful longevity of identity of companies such as Shell, or the ever changing IBM which still manages to remain true to its core purpose of making useful technology for businesses Evolution, not revolution. At the heart of any successful company is a certainty in its purpose and the determination, ideas and aptitude to deliver in such a way that exudes confidence to customers that the product or service is right for them.

The Conservative Party in Scotland and Northern Ireland needs to forget about changing name until they work [out] what they exist to do, and have a clear vision for Scotland or Northern Ireland and a clear idea (policy framework) of how to get there. Otherwise the Party may well invest in a big rebranding only to find that the electorate looks past that branding to see little to make Conservatism, by any name, any more attractive than it ever was.

Hmmm…. That’s a question facing parties a lot larger than the NI Tories…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty