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.
Read more on Welcome to Cameron’s Big Society future…
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.
Read more on Why Twitter doesn’t matter at all (in this election)…
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.
Read more on It’s political correctness gone mad, no this time it really is…
It is not often I would care to say this, but The Spectator has summed up Nick Clegg in so few words that it seems perfectly rude not to share them.This was shared in the office and we laughed. I don’t feel bad about that at all.
Read more on Spectator takes a bite out of Nick Clegg. We laughed….
The latest Tory ‘creative’ depicts David Cameron - reportage-style, shirtsleeves up and a definite lack of airbrushing – accompanied by the booming caption: ‘Let’s cut benefits for those who refuse to work.’ So much for the ‘Big Society’, showcased last week, it doesn’t even seem to be worth backing up with marketing spend.
Read more on What’s with Dave’s new poster?…
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.
Read more on Tory campaign "most inept… in living memory"…
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.
Read more on Will the TV leader debates change us?…
Election manifestos are important documents. They force
political parties to focus, focus, focus on what they want to say and who they
want to say it to. This means parties stocktake on what has been done before
and what has worked before in order to form the core infrastructure for a
communications strategy. This includes selecting the most appropriate messages,
tactics and vehicle to get that all important information across.
Read more on Labour’s new media manifesto…
I feel sympathy for Stuart MacLennan but his case shows that a lot people still do not get social media, and Twitter specifically, or seem to understand they are in the personal publishing business no different from a blog.
He isn’t the first social media casualty and he probably won’t be the last, he’s just the one who made the front pages in the same week that John Prescott urged supporters to engage in click fraud and a week after UKIP PPC Paul Wiffen was suspended after hitting out at a blog post highlighting the party’s immigration policy.
Who knows how MacLennan would have fared trying to take on the SNP’s Angus Robertson in Margaret Ewing’s old seat, but he showed he was the wrong candidate.
When I first heard it I did the same thing that Labour Party officials did. My reactions was: “he’s being held up for tweets that he wrote a year ago? That seems harsh”.
On reflection (and by reflection I mean reading his tweets) he had to go as he crossed the line. Some have bizarrely called for MacLennnan to be given a break with Rory Sutherland writing a piece on the Spectator site and tweeting “Reinstate the Moray One. Appalling Twittergate treatment of Lab candidate”.
Read more on The politics of social media and CLTs (career limiting tweets)…