Archive for the ‘European Election 2009’ Tag

Broadcast Bingo 2: Labour Party Election Broadcast, complete with unsurprisingly shit music

This post can also be found on the Th!nk About It blogging platform here.

And now for the second round of quite possibly the geekiest game you’ve ever played: Broadcast Bingo.

Last round the Conservatives scored a measly 3.5/10 for their failed attempts to avoid clichés in their party election broadcast. And one of their 3.5 was awarded for the novelty value of name dropping a Spice Girl.

Will Labour have any equally cringe point enhancing moments? I wonder…

But not for long, because here, my friends, is Labour’s party election broadcast. Sit back and enjoy…

Broadcast Bingo Results:

Length: 3.08

Times Brown says “Brown”: 0

Interviews with potential voters: 0

Cameron bashing: Nothing direct

Needless celebrity name drop: 0 sadly

Shot of sickeningly sweet child: 1

Times “recession” mentioned: 5, with numerous mentions of “downturn” (4) and other synonyms

Times “Obama” mentioned: 1 (but with many shots)

Amount of shots of campaign banner: 0

Best line: “Barack Obama and I share the same values…”


Background music: Sounds like a GCSE music project

Generic people-walking shots: 1,000,000 approx.

Some Very Serious Analysis:

The broadcast begins, worryingly, with three shots of Brown that look as though they were recorded by a stalker, perving on our PM through a variety of key holes. But at least this stalker’s cool; his peeking is accompanied by guitar chords.

And yet, despite the GCSE music-project soundtrack, Brown moves on to succumb to the clichés we have come to know and love.

There is, for example, the token shot of a cute child. Although this one doesn’t have any aspirations to save the world, penguins, or anything else, thank goodness, and stays mercifully mute.

There is also, as in the Conservative’s attempt, shots of the party leader on trains. I’m still unsure as to why. Fast moving, perhaps; forward thinking? Whatever – any link is tenuous at best.

Unlike Cameron, though, Brown managed to avoid saying his own name repeatedly. But perhaps this was because he knew that doing so wouldn’t do him any favours. Also, unlike the Tories, Labour’s broadcast didn’t feature numerous interviews with potential voters, singing the praises of the PM. But perhaps that’s because they couldn’t find anybody.

Labour instead stuck to what they do best: Brown-nosing (yes, I did it again) Obama. With a substantial 24 seconds of the three minute video dedicated, in some way, to Brown’s favourite special relationship.

What was, perhaps, surprising, was the amount of time that Brown spends in schools. Which worried me a tad. And the copious amounts of generic people-walking shots, so numerous I stopped counting. When I was working at Sky News, these shots were what you included in long packages when you’d run out of material… It’s hardly comforting that Labour struggled to fill 3.08 minutes.

Yet again, a predictable broadcast with few surprises. Unfortunately for Labour, they lose a quarter of a point for not including any celebrity name-drops. But they claw back one point for the interesting use of pervert-filming technique at the beginning. As such, the Labour party election broadcast video scores…

Barack Obama marks Gordon Brown out of 10...

Barack Obama marks Gordon Brown out of 10...


Th!nk About It: As the European election approaches, the Christians don’t reduce me to tears and/or sleep

This post can also be viewed – and voted for – here.
What do Nick Griffin and Sarfraz Manzoor have to do with the European election? More than most think.

Nick Griffin vs Sarfraz Manzoor? My money's on Manzoor.

Us British Th!nk About It bloggers are at a disadvantage – a disadvantage highlighted, somewhat ironically, by Danish blogger Mads Frederiksen – which is that, with less than 50 days to go, the British media still aren’t covering the European election.

Which, as you can imagine, makes blogging about the European Election in the UK – without writing about the aforementioned lack of media coverage (which I have already overdone) – somewhat difficult.

Thank goodness, then, for Christians; those of the Baptist, Methodist and United Reform churches to be exact. Because this month they released a briefing on the importance of the European elections, which is not just interesting because the Christians appear to be the only people who currently care about Europe – but also because it explicitly warns against the dangers of political extremism.

The briefing (which can be seen here), produced by a joint public issues team, explains the upcoming elections under the titles: who are we electing; what am I voting for and how do I vote.

(The comprehensive way in which the brief explains complex issues in less than 500 words makes me think it might be worth becoming a Christian – imagine how easy life would be with a handy briefing on all difficult topics.)

Then, following in the footsteps of the Bishop of Manchester who in March urged a boycott on the BNP, the leaflet moves on to discuss political extremism – and in doing so, manages to avoid the pitfall of most (all?) other EU propaganda: inducing the reader to tears and/or sleep.

It says that the churches believe “the policies of extremist and racist political parties are incompatible with an understanding of God’s love for all people” – and calls on Christians to counter these parties, stating:

Using your vote is one way that you can stop the racist political parties from being elected.

The briefing highlights how the proportional representation of the European elections makes it easier for extreme parties like the  BNP (British National Party) to get seats, and how the current economic situation might help these parties reach power.

(Indeed, headlines like this hardly fill one with confidence.)

But in order to avoid parties like the BNP getting seats, the innovative Christians urge everyone to use their vote. Good on them.

Indeed, I’m wondering why this reason to vote hasn’t been used more frequently – I’m certainly more likely to vote faced with an argument about banishing the BNP, rather than faced with an advert about, say, light bulbs or chicken packaging.

And just in case anyone’s wondering why the BNP need a good banishing, it’s because this week they announced that journalist Sarfraz Manzoor doesn’t exist. Indeed, its not just Sarfraz Manzoor who doesn’t exist – it’s all Black and Asian Britons. Instead these people should, according to party chairman Nick Griffin, be referred to as “racial foreigners”.

As Manzoor says:

On the plus side, this means I do exist, but rather than watching a film, I may now have to spend the weekend staring into the mirror trying to work out who is staring back at me.

In light of this, the briefing of the Baptist, Methodist and United Reform churches has never been more accurate or relevant.

And in light of this, it makes me all the more angry that this briefing will be read by so few in the UK.