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Is this electorally wise? Aren't the wristbands just 'designer opinions' - easy to wear, salve your conscience, then continue with your middle class materialistic Western lifestyle?

'I may be loaded, and people may be starving in Africa, but at least I wear a wristband...'

More importanly, do people's votes really turn on these issues?

modern conservative

This pretty much sums up the Davis campaign - populism which doesn't quite ring true.

Will he wear a wristband?...It's the Hague baseball cap all over again.

Mark Fulford

This has about as much credibility as DJ Rapping Davis...

Selsdon Man

Wristbands are great if you dress casually but look naff with a suit. I got a green flat tax band from the Taxpayers Alliance at conference but have never worn it.

james bethell

It's good to see candidates thinking about how to address the younger vote. But I am not sure I see a clear plan yet from either.

From '79-'92, we came first amongst >34s. Nowadays, this demographic causes us big trouble. It is difficult to imagine how we can get in power when Labour gets 2.2m >34 votes, a wopping 50% more than our 1.4m (source: MORI on GE2005). We came third, polling a miserable 22% of women under 34, which means many young/city constituencies are currently unwinnable for us.

There are good “broadband” reasons for targeting the "wristband generation". They have a disproportionate influence on attitudes amongst, for instance, parents and the media. Failing to win the young vote means we are losing generations of voters (eg our particularly weak showing amongst the 24-34s who first voted in the seedy 90s).

There is also an important “narrowband” reason. There are a dozen key seats where >34s are more than 30% of the vote and will determine the outcome. Eg Battersea, Crawley, Hove, Worcester, Finchley & GG.

The answer lies in words like trust, consistency & effectiveness, and in learning the tricks of modern youth marketing. In addition, both DD and DC are right to allude to the sort of campaigns that reach an audience beyond Westminster.

Maybe we should launching such a campaign as a way to demonstrate change and build support in new areas? Obvious candidate campaigns are the environment, ID cards, arms trade & Scottish regiments. Left field possibilities include an anti-war campaign.

It is critical such campaigns have full party support so efforts to win trust are delivered in a consistent fashion.

One question:- is there a campaign that has traction amongst disillusioned young/urban voters and can also gain the support of the Shadow Cabinet? Nether candidate has really focused on a one area. Any views?


James make some excellent points, although we must ensure that we don't loose the voters who did support us last time.
There are plenty of 'wristband' issues where we can take the moral high ground. For example, the EU and CAP are keeping many African farmers in poverty. And Labour actually has an appalling human rights record (introduced internment, looking to abolish the right to trial by jury etc. etc.)
It is about time we pointed this out with confidence.

Sean Fear

Wristbands are gimmicks, no more. And, as The Business pointed out yesterday, the Make Poverty History campaign would Make Poverty Permanent if its solutions were implemented.

A mistake on David Davis' part I think.


I don't like jumping on to band-waggons. We should state our policies and keep away from fashion.

Jonathan Sheppard

What's wrong with wearing wristbands as a way of showing a cause you support.

I proudly wear my "Vote Blair Out" one with pride.

Selsdon Man

"What's wrong with wearing wristbands as a way of showing a cause you support."

Dare I say that they are a bit "girly"?

Jonathan Sheppard

Ha ha ha - charming. I'll have you know Im a tough Northerner. Are you sure I cant interest you in a Vote Blair out band Selsdon. I am sure you would look rather fetching in it.

Barbara Villiers

Are you people being deliberately obtuse? What Davis is referring to is the 'wristband generation' - those young people who care about their fellow human beings. He in not talking about wearing wristbands or climbing on any bandwagons. How come when Cameron reaches out to young people it's cool but when Davis does it's a ploy. You forget that he has three children - two twenty somethings and one who is still a teenager.

To quote David Cameron 'Keep it real, yeah!'


Well said Barbara!

Some people may not respect the Make Poverty History/ wristband generation but a political party that ignores them is heading for the grave.

Fortunately DC and DD are both aware of the need to reintroduce them to Conservatism.

Jonathan Sheppard

And the way to engage with young people has to be through polices. And the polices that many of these "wrist bands" campaign on.

Party members constantly used to come to me and say - how do we get young people to be political. The answer is that they already are. Our environmental policy can not solely be based on being anti windfarm, just as our animal rights one can not solely be looking at Hunting.

Young people do care - but about the issues they want to care about - not necessarily the ones we have always campaigned on.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"What's wrong with wearing wristbands as a way of showing a cause you support?"

The trouble is wristband wearing has become an overused method of expressing support for a cause. These days there are so many different wristbands that it is difficult to distinguish between the different causes, which means the purpose of the wristbands is defeated as they are designed to raise awareness of the relevant cause.

It was highly successful at raising awareness of the Make Poverty History campaign (I had one of the original pre-plastic MPH wristbands, smug self-satisfied pat on the back for me) but the rush of causes jumping on the wrist-bandwagon has diluted their chances of replicating that success somewhat.

To raise awareness of the respective causes, distinctive symbols of the cause should be chosen as opposed to copying once-innovative symbols adopted by others, something we would all do well to remember as we approach Remembrance Day when we wear our poppies and pay our respects to those who died in service to our great country, defending the freedoms and values we hold dear.


Personally, I have never worn a wristband (although I like the sound of one with "Vote Blair Out").
However, it is about time socialists stop claiming the moral high ground. After all, Stalin and Mao were examples of the reality of socialism.
If we want to loose the 'nasty' label, it is time we start showing our humanitarian values.

Jonathan Sheppard

But for me wristbands are synonymous with showing us that there is a generation of people who care about a variety of issues - and smashes the myth that young people (OK I know I am no longer allowed in Conseravtive future since becoming 30 a few months ago)are just apathetic.

Sean Fear

Call me cynical, but wearing a wristband seems to me to be a way of showing you "care" without actually doing anything useful.

Jonathan Sheppard

I not sure I agree with that Sean. The issue here though is that Davis is recognising the need to engage with a new generation of voters.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Call me cynical, but wearing a wristband seems to me to be a way of showing you "care" without actually doing anything useful."

The express purpose of the Make Poverty History campaign was to raise awareness of the issue and use popular pressure to force the governments in the world's richest nations to re-evaluate their relationship with those in less fortunate nations. As governments are the only bodies imbued with the authority to implement the kind of across-the-board fundamental change required, I'd say the Make Poverty History approach was pragmatic, realistic and sensible.

Sean Fear

The people who are in the best position to Make Poverty History are the governments of poor countries, who could indeed Make Poverty History by pursuing economic policies based upon private enterprise.

The role of Western governments in secondary. And the arguments against free trade (on the part of poor countries) made by the campaign are IMO pernicious.

Henry Cook

And I thought DC was supposed to be the lightweight/gimmicky candidate! Makes for a great soundbite though. Just left wondering what on earth he's going to do to 'engage' with my generation.

Sean Fear

In fact, looking at the Make Poverty History campaign website, it would seem that almost every one of their beliefs is fundamentally opposed to Conservatism.

Sean Fear

"On the back page it carries endorsements from the likes of Bruce Anderson, Charles Moore, Steve Richards and Mary-Ann Sieghart"

That looks like the Kiss of Death to me.


Has anyone noticed DD campaign manager in Scotland has been thrown out of the Party!!
Brian Monteith MSP has had the whip withdrawn for breifing the press against David Mcletchie. Birds of a feather flock together!

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