In the last week, thanks to social media and email, I have seen three classic examples of how distant from the electorate our Party Political hopefuls really are when it comes to their public communications:
Labour – late yesterday afternoon I received an email from Labour inviting me to support their campaign financially. The email began
In one month alone, the Tories spent £114,956 buying up advertising on Facebook — enough to pay the annual salaries of four NHS nurses. Help us fight back: donate what you can now to help level the playing field.
The inability of the team who wrote this to see how far their idea was from real life which many of us experience is really rather disturbing. Anyone who read the first sentence would be outraged, it is clearly appalling that the corpulent Tory Party can spend so much money on one social media account, and to put it into the context of nurses salary really brings that into sharp relief. However to then go on to ask readers to help match the funding for Labour is precisely the opposite of what our response is going to be. It would have been better to have asked us to donate funds to pay for 4 nurses than to suggest we would be interesting in addressing the imbalance between the parties. Many of us are appalled at the way in which elections favour the wealthy, we are certainly not going to increase the problem, what we want is a party willing to end this waste of money.
Liberal Democrats – Following on from the claim this week by Jeremy Browne that the party would gain more votes if they campaigned with the Conservatives on the same ticket, rather than against them showed how little he understands the people he is in coalition with. Most of them hate the Lib Dems more than they hate the EU. However like many Political compromises they have bit deep on their lips whilst the Lib Dems have allowed them to be in power for 5 years. The idea that we will be inspired by two Parties that are supposed to believe in doing things differently, campaigning together is even more bizarre. Then this morning a blogger I follow called Tom Pride who writes Prides Purge alerted me to this distressing point of view that was posted on the Conservative Home website by a chap called Stephen Tall who is a Liberal Democrat writer and blogger who writes:
I guess even the more realistic of us had hoped our first taste of government would turn out better, easier. We’d get some of our policies agreed (check), we’d stop some of their policies with which we disagreed (check), and we’d make coalition government work (check). Simple! Then all we had to do was reform the voting system and await our reward from a grateful electorate. After all, hadn’t the voters always said they liked the idea of parties working together in the national interest, compromising where necessary? There’s a harsh lesson learned: never trust the public. They’re deeply unreliable.
One wonders how many people within the world of Politics would subscribe to that point of view, clearly at least one Lib Dem does.
Finally Conservative – this is a minor example but I wanted to provide some balance so I noticed this morning that a local Tory mover and shaker has tweeted:
I confess I have attended and even chaired more AGMs than I care to remember for all sorts of organisations. I am sure that in the eyes and ears of the members, that the Kemptown Conservative Association has hot AGMs whatever that really means. We know that Political Party membership is haemorrhaging and is at an all time low, so anything to encourage people to join is I suppose worth the effort, but an AGM is like a Court Case, a legal process that must be observed in certain ways in order to keep the organisation legally correct. However you dress it up, there is not much room for the AGM itself to be exciting or hot in the real world. However perhaps some within the Party are so excited by such formal procedures that they assume we will be too!