>Political parties – Aisle being see you…

> Perhaps – following on from yesterday – the metaphor I am looking for is not the Beckham marquee, but the retail trade…

If we accept Ingrid van Biezen’s line of argument of parties as ‘public utilities’ then we are dealing with similar purveyors of highly similar products with different branding, slightly differing strategies and slightly different demographics and organization with New Labour in the role of Tesco (and/or Asda?) Cameron’s Tories as the posher-but-democratic Sainsbury and the Libs Dems as Morrison or Waitrose depending, which bit of the country we are in. To continue the metaphor, one might argue that as with local high street shops these big multiples crowd out diversity and (occasionally) quality for the sake of affordable uniform set of products.

Of course one might argue that in terms of efficiency and pulling in the punters supermarkets have something to teach parties, although Asda boss Archie Norman stint as a modernizing Tory Chairman did not seem to end well…

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