There has been some speculation over the last week about the possibility of the Conservative Party adopting a new logo to replace the symbolic hand carrying a torch that has been used since 1977. The torch itself underwent a makeover in 2004, but it was still the same recognisable logo, although personally I think it looked a bit less symbolic afterwards. The actual details of the new logo have not been officially released, but a scan of the image has appeared on the BBC website and the general consensus seems to be that it will consist of an oak tree in some form.
My thoughts on the proposed new logo are somewhat mixed. First of all, I think the party really needs to concentrate on developing and publicising new policies, rather than embarking on a quest to find a new logo, which will probably create internal rumblings within the party – something to be avoided at all costs. Ditching the torch will almost certainly antagonise the older members of the party grassroots, but then again it’s probably about time that they were pushed to one side to an extent anyway.
However, I do think that a new logo will help move the image of the Conservatives away from the Thatcher era, the shadow of which still hangs over the party to an extent (I remember asking at a party meeting if it was about time to cast off the spectre of Thatcherism and get young people involved – it resulted in a round of applause but of course nothing came of it). With a new leader and more liberal policies, the party does seem to looking forward to the future instead of back to the past of the 80’s heydays. A new logo might be the final nail in the coffin of the old “home guard” Conservatives and the bridge to a prosperous future for a party that is starting to once again look like it could win a general election.
As for the logo itself (as opposed to whether a new one is actually needed), I think the oak tree is a bit of a strange choice. A tree is not a symbol that I would associate with politics in general (except perhaps with the Green Party), and certainly not with the Conservatives. It does appear that some of the logo will feature the traditional Tory blue though, but I remain unconvinced about how the general public will see an oak tree logo and think “Vote Conservative” – which is presumably the overall aim. Time will tell though, as it always does.