On memorability

A few years ago, round about when the LHC was due to start up, at a beer festival, we were trying to remember the members of the Cabinet. This was jolly hard and remembering who was in John Major’s last cabinet from over a decade earlier turned out to be substantially easier.

Back in the present day, Tom Watson has resigned. “He can’t resign”, I said. “I don’t care what he’s done. He’s the only member of the shadow cabinet other than Ed Balls I can actually remember.”

Off the top of my head I think I can remember more members of Attlee Cabinets than I can of the present shadow cabinet, and probably so can you. Is this necessarily a problem for Labour? Michael Gove, for example, is Memorable for all the wrong reasons. But if your task is to present yourself as an alternative government, it might be helpful for people to be able to imagine it.

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