Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tories, urine sample flasks and siderodromophobia 

So how will Cameron deal with the packaging and content of the Tories?

On content he clearly hopes to show breaks with the past. As an example people who travel by train still remember Mrs Thatchers apparent siderodromophobia (allegedly the word for neurotic fear of train travel) and so still associate the Tories with these out of touch attitudes. Policy chages Cameron, may believe, will give a sense of a real world involved in his policies and thus a break with the past.

But it is in the field of really basic aversions that things become interesting.

Psychological tests show that peope will not drink fruit juice stored in urine sample bottles even if they like the juice and know that the bottles are completely sterile and previous unused. A persistant (possibly urban legend) is that some US hospitals cut down pilferage from their catering stores by holding juices in such bottles...

Now one Tory theme over the last year or so is that voters actually quite like Tory policies they just recoil when they realise they are in fact promoted by the Tories. The argument is in effect that the Tory label at this moment equals 'urine sample bottle' in voters' minds, raising a feeling of unease and revulsion, and makes their pencils hesitate in the polling booth.

So a vigorous rebottling effort might actually have some effect. We shall see.

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