Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Barcelona Football ClubIn true last minute style, I now present to you the latest (over a week old) political mailing. It's another one from the Lib Dems. It features a picture to give children nightmares (and I'm not referring any representation of Michael Howard smiling). The letter seems to have a creeping case of freebie newspaper, as little boxes and graphics huddle round the edges.

Whoever wrote the letter has obviously been sent the Lib Dems campaigning strategy guide. Much like Charles Kennedy's letter it starts off alternating paragraphs with statements in bold, but then they merge and so every initial sentence is in bold and underlined, regardless of what it says (and both bold and underlined? That's like hooting and flashing your lights). The first paragraph ends with the phrase "the real alternative".

It doesn't get much better. At least this time they checked the database and noticed that the "young" box was ticked. Which is presumably why they're writing to me about toddlers (I'm bit old for that, unless you mean... in which case not for a while yet). Unfortunately because I'm young they've also decided that I was ardently against the war in Iraq.

And they want me to have a house. The candidate has "a fully worked out plan to solve this problem". Fully worked out? They didn't send you a grammar guide along with the strategy one, did they?

Signature analysis: As I'm guessing InAcFa doesn't have the signature of my local Lib Dem parliamentary candidate on file, I'll be brief. He goes round the bottom of his o's to start them. Oh dear.

The pamphlet which came with the letter is going for colourful and cluttered. Labour is constantly referred to as "(can't win here)", in much the same way PBUH follows Mohammed (or "party of the past" follows the word Tories"). "It's a two horse race", complete with blurry picture of mounted jockeys, and is that an Hong Kong flag in the background? Next to the Australian one?

There's a selection of pictures of some unphotogenic man doing good (vandalising lampposts with leaflets, looking photoshopped into a photo-op with CK and various college kids, holding a piece of A4 saying "Scrap the council tax". Helpfully this last pic is captioned "The LibDems will scrap the Council Tax"). Elsewhere they play up his localness (regrettably they avoid using the phrase "for local people"), and his forty-something youth. He even has "a real plan"; none of that theoretical stuff here.

Ah, I think I understand how it works now. You pick one of the six sections you like most, and then associate that with the Lib Dems, and discard the stuff you disagree with in the other five as irrelevant.

Strangely, as one progresses down the rear of the leaflet, the editing appears to get worse. The final photograph has our man and a couple of unexplained just about youthful randoms. The girl's head looks like a horse chewed it. The guy is missing half an ear and anything behind. The candidate's head is a bit motheaten, and the rest of him looks like it was hewn from the pixels. They also appear to have castrated him in the process. I think cackhanded would be the politest way of describing that session of image manipulation. Even I can photoshop better than that.

Hmm, and I wonder if they're aware that whilst the candidate is shown 6 times (they could have found one decent angle, right?), Charles Kennedy is shown twice, which is the same amount as both Bush and Blair.

And despite all this I'm still undecided.

Sorry this has been a bit of an uninspiring post, but the most inspiring my life has been recently was noticing, during a silly Newsnight political weather item, that they'd stuck the thundercloud for Dorset West out beyond the Tamar. Dorset Far West perhaps? Could someone please get Ms Kearney an atlas.

Anyway, I've got photography to get to, so bye.


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