General Election Blues 26


I really find it hard to avoid revulsion from the election. Bland inanities and staged photo-opportunities, minutely stage-managed encounters with real people in situations where their behaviour is strictly controlled, like their employment.

Yesterday it started so awfully I thought it could not get worse. Brown walked through St Pancras station, past groups of people we were supposed to believe were just the general public who chanced to be there, who remarkably kept bursting into “spontaneous” and enthusiastic applause of Gordon Brown and stepping up to shake his hand as he passed.

The chances of Brown being greeted by near unanimous applause among a genuine random sample of the population are nil – even in Kirkcaldy. I have never seen such obviously stage managed nonsense. There was one surprising glitch from the New Labour people planting machine, and I rewound the Sky box to make sure I was right. There were virtually no black people, or obvious Eastern Europeans. One nice oriental lady who seemed the only “real” person there, put her shoulder down and determinedly barged past Brown.

Now the chances of any group of a couple of hundred people at a public transport location in London being uniformly white and middle class are bugger all. Interesting New Labour thing, this – the bussed in enthusiastic “ordinary people” crowd waving union jacks that lined the street for Blair’s entrance to Downing St in 1997 were almost all white too. By comparison Cameron yesterday was pointedly with two black Tory candidates.

Anyway, I was in a TV studio this morning and Mandelson was on screen in the background the whole time, so haven’t been able to face turning on the TV today in case I throw something at it.


26 thoughts on “General Election Blues

  • Vronsky

    That’s what they do, though – all of them. As an SNP activist I was working on a recent by-election when one of the organisers asked me:

    – Where are you from?

    I told her.

    – Are you well-known there? You see, we need someone who isn’t a known activist to shake hands with Alex (Salmond).

    I declined. It’s the PR wonks. God knows why they bother. I’d actually spent that evening walking around with Salmond, and he talked willingly to everyone we met – including the poor Labour fuckwits who suffer so badly from Dunning-Kruger Effect. Why not film those encounters? It would have been authentic, and obviously so.

    But PR is the new god, and seems more needful of obeisance than the Abrahamic monsters we already know.

  • JimmyGiro

    It has been said that in war, you may gauge the enemies fears by what they choose to frighten you with.

    Since politics is war by other means, then it follows that the ‘multicultural’ party will appear white, and the ‘white’ party will appear multicultural.

  • Stevie

    Lazy journalists are one of the problems. I remember bumping into Michael Crick in Norwich during the by-election campaign. Was he working hard investigating the local issues and candidates? Was he heck as like. He was sitting in the beer garden, enjoying the sunshine scoffing a pub lunch at tax payers expense. At least I was able to go over and interupt his lunch and ask him somre real questions.

    I’ve just had to turn the BBC news off – it’s so pathetic. All gimicks, talk down and party stages events. At least there was one member of the public who gatecrashed and spoilt Browns photo opp by approaching his car as he sped off, asking a real question – I doubt we’ll see many more of those slip ups as the party machines tighten their screws (Mandelson will be blowing his top to some poor Labout communications fuckwit for ruining the day right as I type this!).

    No mention of independent candidates in any bulletin I’ve seen so far. Terrible really. Very Undemocratic.

    Any journalist worth their salt would see the rise of the independents as a way of capturing the publics imagination – Government for the people, by the people, at a time when the majority are pissed off with the main parties. I reckon in my consituency (Stockton South) our independent candidate (Yvonne Hossack – Private Eye Woman of the Year in 2005) has a real chance of defeating the Labour cadidate. Now that would be news!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ha! That’s a good one, Jimmy.

    Vronsky, you are too right – PR is the Behemoth of the imagination. I much preferred it when they used to refer to it by its correct title: Brainwashing by Propaganda.

    Lesson One:

    How to make a clever person look stupid and a stupid person look clever. Good is bad and bad is good.

    Lesson Two:

    How to make ourselves indispensable and make lots and lots of money for ourselves.

    Lesson Three:

    How to fool all of the people all of the time.

    Lesson Four:

    How to construct enormous armies of straw-men to hide the fact that we have not been able to fool all of the people all of the time.

    Lesson Five:

    Wall. Up. Against. The. Mother…

  • Duncan McFarlane

    “I really find it hard to avoid revulsion from the election. Bland inanities and staged photo-opportunities, minutely stage-managed encounters with real people in situations where their behaviour is strictly controlled, like their employment.”

    That’s why so many of us loved campaigning for you Craig! – there was none of that rubbish from you. I’m sure you’ll do well when you get a Lib Dem candidacy too though.

    “groups of people we were supposed to believe were just the general public who chanced to be there, who remarkably kept bursting into “spontaneous” and enthusiastic applause of Gordon Brown and stepping up to shake his hand as he passed.”

    Yes – my grandfather once wrote “the party machine, the party machine, the weary-old, dreary-old, party machine”

    It’s the same with all the big parties.

  • Polo

    Thank God (or whatever) for the alternative media. Unfortunately the majority of the population don’t tune in to them.

  • IanG

    What I really want someone to ask brown in public, live on camera is this:

    You have laid out your pledges to do but before all of the other elections similar promises were made and then broken. So why should we believe **anything** you say (you have also been nailed on several occasions as a blatant spinner/liar) and in fact you went to court to get a ruling that manifesto promises are not legally bound to anything.

    So when he spouts about constitutional reform they said this before 1997 and nothing happened. It will be kicked into the long grass. Referendums on the Lisbon treaty come to mind though personally I’m not worked up about that one. But why do the journalists not simply confront them with this truth? I know all politicians are the same but this guy Brown is such a spinner and liar…he really takes the biscuit.

  • Ingo

    Well beat the blandness and election blues by applying some belzeebub, come to Blackburn and join in with the Independent campaing of Bushra Irfan.

    I am leaving Norwich tommorrow morning, for a month, plus. She is standing against Jack Straw and she is boyant and able.

    As yet I have not talked to her but from tommorrow onwards the team will gel, we will try our utter best to give that little man time to enjoy at home with his relatives, away from politics and mongering.

    Now if you are bored at home and want some action doing something valuable, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via the campaings website.

    Much can be done from outside, on blogs and websites. Just looking at his record, the Iraq inquiry and his bendy shufflin’there is lots that can be levelled at him which will keep him off our backside.

    feel free to wirite to Blackburn papers, or that of rival towns should you feel so declined and enjoy what liottle spark is left, for Independence, for England, forever.

  • Abe Rene

    Stage-managed supporters reminds me of a scene in the 60s film “If” where the head boy says to a group of younger schoolboys, something like: “There has been an absence of cheering at matches. This will cease. Next time you will be there, and you will cheer, loudly!”

  • Abe Rene

    Suhayl:

    Yes, I’ve seen OLM. I remember the scene where McDowell is led away by police, having taken the rap for Sir Clive who then says ‘The dividing line between the House of Lords and Pentonville jail is very, very, thin!,’ and all the guests break into laughter.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Gosh, it’s years since I’ve seen OLM – the mid-1980s, I think. I’d like to see it again, actually.

    Have you seen ‘Privilege’, a political satire starring Paul Jones? It seems to have been amazingly prescient.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    If :

    ‘The thing I hate most about you Rowntree is the way you give Coca Cola to your scum and your best teddy bear to Oxfam and expect the rest of us to lick your frigid fingers for the rest of your frigid life.’

    Sublime.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    £20 billion… and how much did we pay the bankers, how much blood to save the bankers and their shiny, shiny silver banking system corrupt and festering with the blood of children, on their hands nothing but pus and death, on their lips only lies, lies so black it would turn Satan’s eyes white and those liars tell us we have to lose our jobs – for their bloody war! How many people in this country have had their houses repossessed, thrown like dirt by the side of the road, while in Iraq their damned helicopters swoop down and kill, kill, kill children in vans. God damn their helicopters, their pus-filled mouths, their hearts heaving with oceans of darkness.

  • dreoilin

    “Well beat the blandness and election blues by applying some belzeebub, come to Blackburn and join in with the Independent campaing of Bushra Irfan.”

    More power to your elbow, Ingo.

  • Abe Rene

    Suhayl:

    No, I haven’t seen Privilege – it’s one I may acquire someday if I get it cheap enough.

  • AJ

    It reminds me of a time when I saw John Prescott boarding a commuter train at Euston during rush hours flanked by numerous assistants (bodyguards maybe) and a few TV cameras. It was quite a moment – this was 1997 – and I was a bit impressionable at the time. Except after the cameramen had gone, Prescott got off at the next stop (my own station) and jumped into a chauffeur driven Jaguar and sped back into Central London. Strange.

  • Control

    Craig,

    I know you are a not a big fan of Guido but he did pick up on this also:

    http://order-order.com/2010/04/06/twitter-blows-spin-labour-fakes-up-gordon-support/

    ‘It was only Gordon that felt the need to attempt to create a “spontaneous” Potemkin Village of support. The news channels are reporting Gordon being “cheered off” by the public who were shouting “good luck Gordon” as he departed St. Pancras station. Funny then that there is a remarkable similarity between the crowd below and the one leafleting for Labour at tube stations earlier this morning. It seems no one has bothered to check that this “crowd” was in fact a group of Young Labour hacks and Labour Students.’

  • ingo

    Come to Blackburn, the campaign is in full flow and Bushra, whom I just met is a brick, a real alternative and local. There is nobody who can muster more support than here.

    Today Shaista Gohir resigned from the muslims woman advisory council a national body. She is denouncing the Government for taking muslim women in vain using them as ‘project managers’

    That means that muslim women are not taken for full by this Government, we have heard that before.

    So come on down the campaign is going brill.

    Ivonne Ridley is coming this weekend and maybe salma Yacoub.

  • Paul Johnston

    Re John Prescott.

    Funny I use to see Prescott catching the train down to London from Hull when I was getting the first train to Manchester on Mondays when I’d spend the weekend in Hull!

    Always seemed a quiet affair but couldn’t imagine the press wanting to be on Paragon station at that time of a morning.

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