Tag Archives: David Cameron

Welcome to Cameron’s Big Society future

It might be light hearted, but Labour makes a serious point today in its attack on David Cameron’s “Big Society” with the launch of a viral video and its scary echoes of Thatcher’s Britain.

The video drives home what it really means when the Tories say “Big Society”, but are afraid to say that they want to cut and abandon a range of public services with their pick ‘n’ mix DIY services that mean no guarantees for patients, parents or communities.

Big society is about breaking down the NHS, breaking down local education authorities and taking apart public services and people’s lives along with it. That’s what they have always done and Cameron might be the shiny new face of Conservatives in the UK, but it is the same old Tories who do not believe in “big society”. It’s just paper thin like most of Cameron’s campaign of photoshopped airbrushing and oil slick marketing.

Cameron is as Jacob Weisberg, author of ‘The Bush Tragedy’ wrote in the Guardian today, “as buffed as a freshly washed car, and providing a similar kind of short-term uplift”.

“With Cameron’s Tories, ideas take second place to their marketing. The event is geared around his presentation of a Contract with Voters, which is printed out on a white board that Cameron signs with a flourish after his talk. Aside from being a rip-off of the Republicans’ 1994 Contract with America (also known as the Contract on America), these 16 promises are a remarkably thin effort. The hard tasks, like cutting wasteful government spending, building a greener economy and raising school standards, are left vague.” Cameron is after a contract on Britain.

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Why Twitter doesn’t matter at all (in this election)

At the beginning of the campaign we weren’t really sure, but by last night it was blindly clear. Twitter, and social media generally, in this election campaign do not matter – not in the wider scheme of things at least.

The blizzard of tweets last night, 154,342 in all (up on the second debate but down on the first) were in the main anti Cameron in nature– Tweetminister’s sentiment score had it as Clegg 3.13 (-0.5), Brown 2.99 (-0.15), Cameron 2.96 (-0.22) #leadersdebate.

Clegg was the clear winner on Twitter and on Facebook and Brown it appeared to be agreed had done better. It was Clegg one; Brown two; and Cameron three.

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It’s political correctness gone mad, no this time it really is

What do you think of the latest Labour poster, inspired by one of the few good lines by Gordon Brown during yesterday’s leaders debate?

 

You may, like me, find it rather funny, emit a chuckle then carry on with your day.

But the Tories were last night attempting a smear job on Labour claiming that the ad is offensive to people in wheelchairs.

Are they that out of touch that they’ve never seen Little Britain? Or is something else going on here?

Veteran CCHQ spinner Henry Macrory led the charge and others followed in condemning the ad. Now while Macrory’s outrage may be genuine – as he’s not exactly in the Little Britain demographic – I’m pretty sure most of the ire is just pure mischief-making.

Perhaps Team Dave is also worried that Labour has learnt its lesson after the Gene Hunt poster mega-fail. Namely that using aspirational characters in attack ads is stupid beyond belief.

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Tory campaign "most inept… in living memory"

As the media attempts to canonise Nick Clegg, things are going from bad to worse for the Tories as Bell Pottinger chairman Peter Bingle calls the party’s election campaign the most inept in “living memory” in a leaked memo.

Can we stop a minute and take someone temperature? The Sunday Times went bonkers at the weekend (I mean literally) with its frothy front page headline “Nick Clegg nearly as popular as Winston Churchill”. One world war and one TV debate naturally being the exact same thing.

Worse than that it then confounded this piece of bad journalism by referring to this screamer again today saying that Clegg was in the “surprising position of having to talk down headlines that put his popularity on a par with Churchill” (without pointing out it was the culprit behind the headlines).

At the moment no one knows what the Lib Dem poll surge means. They today stand on 33% compared to the Tory’s 32% and Labour’s 26%, but the key question is will it last and translate to anything significant that will boost the party’s presence in the House of Commons much beyond its current 62 seats?

It appears likely that this figure will rise and it looks like it will hit the Tories hard. They are panicking and attacking Clegg (soft on crime/immigration et cetera) and warning that voting for the Lib Dems could keep Gordon Brown in power and the Tories out for a very long time.

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Will the TV leader debates change us?

Will it be historic? Will it be more than quips and point scoring? Millions are expected to tune in tonight and Twitter will light up as the three leaders prepare to debate on ITV in the first of the TV debates.

With audience predictions of between 12 and 20 million tonight could be a huge moment in British politics at a time when trust an enthusiasm for the process is at a low ebb.

The large audience could still turn it around for one party in what is the closest election for a generation. What is it going to mean for Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats? He is the unknown in here like Vince Cable in the debate of the chancellors.

David Cameron has been complaining about the strict rules imposed, which is as pointed out in The Guardian odd as his team helped draft them. He is after all our friend and wants to empower us all.

The Americans must wonder why we have waited so long to do this. They have had televised debates on air since 1976 ( a long gap between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960) giving us sound bites galore including the oft quoted riposte made by Lloyd Bentsen to Republican vice-presidential candidate Dan Quayle.

The debate comes at a time in the campaign when the main political parties face what The Times called “a wall of public antipathy amid a tightening race”.

And it is a tight race. With every poll that comes the Tory lead appears to be slipping representing itself on the periodical table as an unstable political element that allows no concrete predictions.

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‘Short-sited’ manifesto policies

As I revealed in today’s Marketing, Labour has mooted the launch of a website to help parents complain about sexualised products and aggressive marketing aimed at children in its manifesto.

If it sounds vaguely familiar that’s because Tory leader David Cameron unveiled a virtually identical policy in February which is repeated in his party’s manifesto today.

While my Tory contacts have been quick to cry ‘copy-cat’, I don’t have a huge problem with people setting tribalism aside and being big enough to adopt good ideas irrespective of their provenance.

But this is far from a good idea. In fact it stinks of opportunism and the sort of nonsense that parties do when pursuing the ‘Daily Mail’ vote.

Firstly, I feel I should point out that there’s this organisation called the Advertising Standards Authority. You may have heard of it, it’s the body responsible for ad regulation in the UK. It’s been doing this for around 50 years so it’s hardly as if there’s nowhere for these supposed legions of concerned parents to turn to if they see ads that offend. So that deals with the ad side.

Where sexualised children’s products are concerned, the parties may have a better case. I’m not entirely sure who I would complain to if I saw something on sale that I offended me.

But is this really such a huge issue deserving of manifesto attention? I can barely think of any examples. Furthermore when the odd weird product has slipped through the net the retailer concerned has quickly removed it from shelves to kill off the bad publicity.

But why pick on the marketing industry anyway if clamping down on the premature sexualisation of children is a real worry? What about, for example, music videos which routinely show scantily clad women bumping and grinding away at all hours of the day?

Perhaps attempting to tackle these wider issues would open up a whole new can of worms that neither party has the stomach for so they are being conveniently overlooked.

Given that both parties have endorsed this website, it would appear that it will become a reality. Oh dear.

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Asda wants its mums to blog the election

asda-mums-web-laptopSmart
move by Asda. It has taken its line about “Asda mums” and hopped onto
the election bandwagon. And why not? We’re told it is going to be the
Mumsnet election so what better place for the supermarket to be.

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The nasty party’s back and this time it’s personal

So the gloves are off and the Conservatives have ditched the sunshine rhetoric to reconnect with their inner ‘nasty party’.

 

Yesterday they unveiled a set of sarcastic attack posters highlighting Labour’s supposed failings next to a grinning Gordon Brown saying: ‘Vote for me’.

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Our ad agency isn’t working, but will negative campaigning?

The tooing and froing in the advertising world this week as the Tories drafted in M&C Saatchi to nudge nudge “work alongside” Euro RSCG has been fun to watch.

In the official version of events broken by Campaign “Euro RSCG retains its lead agency status”, but the unofficial version is that the Tories are said to have hired M&C Saatchi weeks ago.

They did it after the amusing David Cameron airbrush debacle broke. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer agency (did you read David Jones’s comment referring to the “Brown regime” – who talks like that?).

As the spoofing gathered pace online spread virally with the help of blogs, Twitter and communities like Mumsnet Euro RSCG’s goose was cooked highlighted nicely by this spoof poster produced by Beau Bo D’Or.

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