Politicians on both sides of Australian politics are calling for a “narrative” to describe the values that the electorate should hold dear, particularly advocating a set of values that happen to be consistent with theirs, and their particular brand of politics.

What they appear to mean is that their political “brand” has run out of petrol, and they need something to give it some substance, now!.¬†

 Unfortunately, they do not understand that a brand is an expression of values, behaviors, and performance over a long period, and however hard they might try, putting lipstick on a bulldog does not give you a poodle, just a bulldog with lipstick, unlikely to be a pretty sight.

Much better to define what they stand for, take the knocks that will come from those who disagree, but consistently articulate a set of values through which they see the world and its vagaries. Only by that means, over a reasonable time, will they stand for something that the voting punters feel they can rely on.¬† That then becomes their “narrative”, no different to building a commercial brand, and just as hard, except that they are not using their own money to do it, which perhaps is the reason they are so poor at it.