I’ve seen a few companies relaunch, and I’ve been through quite a few in the Conservative Party too, in my long career of membership.  But Gordon Brown’s ‘Building Britain’s Future’ is fucking dreadful.

In order to establish as a matter of fact that I’ve ssen some relaunches and rebrands over my time, I have been involved (however peripherally) in the following:

    1. John Major’s ‘Opportunity for All’ relaunch of the government before the 1997 general election
    2. William Hague’s ‘Fresh Future’ and the relaunch of the youth wing of the Conservative Party as ‘Conservative Future’
    3. Iain Duncan Smith’s relaunch of the Conservative Party as the small minded and bitter party
    4. The relaunch of the National Union of Students, doing away with logos, to replace the logo with individual letters in pinko circles which could be rearranged during national Conference to read ‘UN’ or ‘NUNS’ or ‘SUN’.  Marvellous.
    5. Michael Howard’s relaunch of the Conservative Party as the ‘Look, foreigners, they’re fucking everywhere’ ‘Are you thinking what we’re thinking’ party.
    6. David Cameron’s relaunch of the Conservatives with oak trees, sunlight and blue skies
    7. Two company relaunches covered by non-disclosure agreements with a former employer

      As a result, I have a few things to judge relaunches by.  In order:

      1. Was it a new direction which changed the way people looked at the organisation?
        • Hague, Howard and Cameron can probably say a qualified yes to that, they achieved a bit of a shakeup
        • The rest were all window dressing
      2. Did the relaunch hold any surprises?
        • Not really, except maybe for Howard and Cameron.
      3. Did the relaunch do positive things to keep the organisation afloat?
        • For the two companies, yeah
        • For NUS, it had very limited effect
        • For Hague it was vital, for Cameron it completely changed the way the organisation operated in a positive way, putting the party back together again, finally

      What Brown sputtered out today was a mishmash of policy ideas stolen from the Conservatives, already announced plans, and no price tag.  Instead of giving the media something to chew over for the next day, the abject failure to announce anything genuinely radical and positive today made certain that Cameron’s deft and sure-footed rebuttal today would be the theme followed in the news and in the papers.  Check out how the Times will run the story tomorrow:

      Brown raids budget to pay for 30,000 homes

      Departmental budgets have been raided to fund ‘social’ homes in a hastily assembled relaunch influenced by Lord Mandelson

      and the Telegraph:

      ‘Deceit over cuts wil lead to riots’, says David Cameron

      Britain faces “riots on the streets” if Gordon Brown’s “dishonesty” over public spending enables him to win the next election, David Cameron said.

      and the Guardian:

      PM’s new manifesto overshadowed by charges that Labour is hiding funding cuts
      As far a launch is concerned, this ranks as one of the poorest and easiest to attack I have ever seen.  The plan offers nothing but debt loading for the current government and a scorched Earth for the coming Conservative government.   Let’s get to work.