National is more centre-right than Thatcherish but with its main opponents decked out in the Labour party’s solid red, voters are clear about what colour stands for which school of thought.
Blue has many meanings however. In Australia, to be “true blue” is to be Aussie to the core – “dinkum” or “dinky-di” – ardent about sport, great with the barbecue tongs and full of all-round cheerful grittiness and can-do attitude.
But its origins are staunchly working-class, going way back to the 19th century when striking workers were cheered as “true blues” – men who stayed loyal to their mates – while scabs and wealthy conservatives on the other side of the fence were disdained.
Just to really mess up our minds, US politicians to the Democratic left also fly blue flags, while right-wing Republicans veer to a vibrant red with just a touch of blue and a welter of stars.
Probably the one thing they all agree on is that the meaning given to blue in medieval Europe still stands… it’s about loyalty, constancy, faithfulness and truth. Which, sadly, are about the last things we expect to receive from politicians of any colour.