This blog collects perspectives on the election you won't find anywhere else, by political experts, based in the School of Politics and International Relations at The University of Nottingham.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Sun worshippers let us lead you

The front cover of Labour’s election manifesto - launched this morning – features a bright sunshine. Given that Labour are in the ‘future business’, it’s a strange choice – because it was a common image before 1945, but not since.
Before 1945 party political imagery would often feature the sun, promising a brighter future. Before the First World War and during in the inter war period, Gerald Spencer Pryse was at the forefront of poster design for the Labour Party. In his work the people could be seen stepping out of the dark and into a brighter future. Most notably in “Forward the Day is Breaking”

and also “To-morrow when Labour Rules”

Although not by Pryse but even more striking use of the sun-visual metaphor is ”Greet the Dawn, Give Labour it’s chance” (with the apostrophe in the wrong place), which was used by the party in the elections of the 1920s, and which Labour’s modern image most obviously resembles.

But it is not just Labour which historically has used the sun within its propaganda. The Conservatives “Sun-ray treatment” utilised strikingly similar imagery in 1929.

This has not been unnoticed by one prolific blogger, although it should be noted that he got the date wrong.

Christopher Burgess

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