EXCLUSIVE: Have Conservative Party staff been lying to the BBC?

You may have noticed there’s been a bit of a fuss over whether the Conservative Party has done a bit of a u-turn over its logo.

Their tree logo seemed to undergo a change of colour, dropping the use of green for a more traditional Conservative blue and adding in a splash of clouds.

But today the BBC reported this:

A Conservative Party spokeswoman … told the BBC: “We are not changing it at all. When we launched the tree last year there were various colours on it.

“You can change the backdrop on it. You can change the colour of the tree to make it look like a winter tree and things like that.”

So that’s all ok then? Only one slight problem. You see, she doesn’t appear to have been telling the truth.

How do I know? Well, I’ve been looking at the Conservative Party’s very own official “style guide” to using their logo.

And I think you can guess what is coming, can’t you?

The guide is very specific about the colours, fonts and logo that can be used. It is a full 22 pages long, going into great detail, even down to the lettering of the spaces in the fonts used for the logo’s wording. 

The sort of blue cloud logo that kicked off the u-turn stories doesn’t feature anywhere in the guide. The use of clouds “inside” the tree isn’t listed as a permitted version. The shade of blue isn’t in the list of permitted tree colours either. And the guide even says “Don’t create new colour logo versions!”

So how could the Conservative spokeswoman have been telling the BBC the truth when she said that the logo hasn’t been changed?

You can download your own copy of the official Conservative Logo guide here.

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16 Comments

  • Lib Dem member 9th Aug '07 - 10:02pm

    Your belief that you know what everyone else in the world thinks is very impressive Mr Letterman.

  • I guess the guide is to stop Bloggshire Tories mucking around with it too much. I guess that CCHQ can play around with it. They are the bosses after all.

  • A key fact about trees: they are almost always green. A few have a reddish tinge (such as the copper beech), but I have yet to meet a blue one.

    Tories telling lies is nothing new, of course. Nor is their use of Nixonite dirty tricks. But the frequency with which they do tell lies, and the egregiousness of the lies themselves, do seem to be growing into a serious problem (for the truth, that is, and for the health of British politics).

    I wear a badge of honour: A Tory troll on this site has even told lies about ME!

  • Hywel Morgan 9th Aug '07 - 11:39pm

    More than that Angus, if I remember my biology a blue tree couldn’t photosynthesise and would probably die very rapidly.

    I think that point stands without further comment 🙂

  • Hywel Morgan 9th Aug '07 - 11:42pm

    Mind you Mark – we all take such notice of our own party’s style guide for using the logo 🙂

  • Angus Huck, it could be Acacia Cyanophylla. Though it doesn’t have perfectly blue leaves, but bluish anyway.

  • I think that this is a fuss over nothing. When we unveiled our newer fatter Charles Kennedy Bird, I was a local party chair and as such was sent a pack on how to use it, including a list of “do nots”. And yes, the letter that came with had the logo in one of the “do not” styles!

    What matters is not what colour the Tory logo is, or which way DC parts his hair. What matters is what they say, and what their instincts are. There is no evidence that the public think much of either, which brings me to the final point: what matters is how well they do in elections (not very at national level recently!)

  • To pick up on a couple of the points: the guide is clearly written as guidance for all parts of the Conservative Party in use of the logo (not just those bits outside CCHQ), and the different versions they used at the launch are all ones in the guide. The most recent one isn’t.

  • I enjoy attacks on the Tories as much as anyone, but this is at worst… Tory high command (or maybe just some poor chap who was in charge of this event) slightly tweaks own rules on logo presentation

  • Terry Brown 11th Aug '07 - 9:59am

    Hi Tristan,
    >
    You said:
    ‘Now, the true story on party logos is Labour’s offensive use of the red rose – symbol of Lancashire and sometimes of England. As an Englishman with lancastrian heritage I object strongly to this usage.’
    >
    I agree entirely with your sentiments, except that I’m from Nottinghamshire:)
    >
    Surely the rose you mention is the red & white Tudor rose, the emblem signifying the unification of the Houses of Lancashire and Yorkshire!
    >
    Perhaps, as a true Lancashire man you cannot bring yourself to mention Yorkshire:)
    >
    Best wishes,
    Terry

  • Daniel Bowen 11th Aug '07 - 1:29pm

    It’s a fair point to most normal inhabitants of this planet (though obviously not Iain Dale).

    But why is this less of an issue than the digraceful news that Labour is to brand the Heathrow airport protestors as terrorists?

  • I don’t think that this is a trivial point. Both commercial and voluntary organisations spend vast amounts of money on employing professionals to design logos that define their brand: I seem to recall a certain amount of discussion of the cost of the Tory logo when it was. If they are now changing it, wholly or in part, it must be as a consequence of what they are being told by their marketing strategists. They have had nearly as many logo re-designs as leaders in recent years, and there is some connection there. As someone who works, to a degree, in the design industry I thought that the blue and green image they used in this year’s local elections worked very well, but maybe that was because I am a liberal and the sort of person it was designed to appeal to. If they are ditching it then maybe they are reverting to trying to shore up their traditional support, which seems to have been pretty disgusted with the Cameron Project recently.

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