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Politics and Image

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A political picture paints a thousand words, and maybe a few votes, too.

In political campaigns, it’s vital to keep it short. And snappy. Don’t waffle.  People are busy. They bore easily. 

Probably the best ever political poster was the Tory one in 1979, showing a dole queue stretching across the frame, above the words: "Labour Isn't Working."    

Their 1987 poster was nearly as good: a British Soldier, arms raised in surrender: "Labour's Policy on Arms”.

Margaret Thatcher won both elections. 

But 'short and snappy' is only part of it. The message must also be credible, believable. If you get it wrong, the public will spot it instantly. 

In 1997 John Major used the infamous "demon-eyes" poster, depicting Tony Blair as a devil. But Major misunderstood that Blair's image was clean-cut, smartly dressed, “New” Labour…  a refreshing change from the usual Socialist numbskulls, and Major should have realised it.  Instead, he ran with "demon-eyes" and the public just thought: "Who are you kidding?" and voted en-masse for Blair (never mind that Blair turned out to be his own sort of devil…  Ask the Iraqis if you don’t believe me).

This was bad political judgement, with John Major tripping over his own feet in 1997.  But what would you expect from the only man who ever ran away from the circus to become an accountant, whose claim to fame is Maastricht or the Cone’s Hotline, and who once said: "When my back's against the wall, I turn around and fight."

Although John Major and Tony Blair would hate to admit it, one of the reasons we won the Referendum was because the pair of them appeared together on a ‘Remain’ video, strolling along a Belfast dockside, almost arm-in-arm.  The public saw them, thought, “Well, if those two no-hopers support Remain, I’m voting Leave.” And then did just that. 

 

David Challice

UKIP Head Office