Friday, March 27, 2009

Does this have any redeeming features?

So you take two Welsh Heroes: Aneurin Bevan and Owain Glyndwr. You mash their names together and create a website that purports to "uphold and assert the right to freedom of speech, especially to make fair comment on politics in Wales and the World" and be independent "We receive no money from the Labour party, or any political party, and are funded by advertising, sponsorship and donations from private individuals". It claims to have a mission that does not mention Labour but mentions all other parties, if not by name then by their stance. You then use said website to promote the Labour Party mainly by attacking all opponents. The bit of communication posted on this site and YouTube that has received wider attention is this video:

It uses Tom Jones' Delilah to 'engage with the Welsh people'; mmm! It talks of Thatcher turning Wales into a wasteland and Labour setting the nation free: will that have resonance given Thatcher has not been Prime Minister for almost 18 years? Given that Wales is a nation associated with great singers, why could they not find someone that could actually sing to support the video - I challenge anyone with any sense of tone to listen to it and not wince? The lyrics are by MEP Eluned Morgan according to the BBC. Overall the only bit of the video that had any resonance with me was the title: Why? Why? Why?... did anyone think this was a good idea?

Why don't I like it. It looks cheap, the attack is cheap and out of touch, I would imagine, with current opinion in Wales. It feigns independence when it is clearly a Labour site, funding is not the issue but like in the US I would like to see a statement 'I am Gordon Brown and I endorse this message' appended to such things. It also seems incredibly desperate and consistent with the tactics that were attempted in Crewe & Nantwich. Labour seem unable to make a credible attack on Conservative policy so Aneurin Glyndwr announces a series on Toff Dave and Boy George (pictured) to lampoon Cameron and Osborne. It may appeal to some Labour supporters but I feel that it tarnishes the image of the party itself and will have little impact on support for Labour or any other party in Wales.

Is there an alternative for Labour? What they need is an idea of what the Welsh voter thinks is an achievement, some way that Labour improved their lives. If it is the parliament and securing EU investment (as in the video) great; promote that and use it as a springboard to gain future support. Promise something perhaps that people want, though it must be deliverable. Find a way to connect the party to Wales in a way that suggests the government cares, that Welsh MEPs have striven to support the territory while in Brussels. These pseudo-independent attacks cannot be successful, or are they all that Labour's strategists can come up with. There is the famous quote that the first line of defence is attack; but is this really true for political campaigning?


Anonymous said...

I remember the "New Labour; New Danger" campaign by the (then) Conservative government of the mid 1990's. It struck me at the time as being a poor attempt by an out of touch party attempting to hold on to power by any means.

This would appear to be a very poor example of the same ill-thought-out attempt to gain favour.

Does it have any redeeming features? In 15 years time we may be comparing it to the back-stabbing attempts of another government in a fight to obtain a majority. For the current time; it would appear to have the redeeming features of a beef wellington at a vegetarian food convention.

Ewan Vellacott - Happy to give my name and I would have given a blogger id if I had one!

Darren G Lilleker said...

Hi ewan, spot on, just what I thought.

BTW: you dont need a blogger ID just stick any name in Open ID!!


Matt Hurst said...

It's pathetic, it's the kind of thing I hoped had disappered after Crewe.

"Serious men for serious times", how does that portray that image and after all the work Prescott, Draper and Campbell had done this just undermines any attempt to create a positive light on the Labour Party.