Thursday, 20 March 2014

Tory Bingo poster wasn’t aimed at middle class politicos on Twitter all day

There’s no two ways about it. The language is clunky, unsubtle, and at first sights pretty patronising. Helping “hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy.”

“Hardworking people” seems to be the establishment’s attempts at embracing classless terminology. An irritating, over-used term, that simultaneously covers working and middle class folk.
It’s the ‘they’ part of the poster that seems to have got people up in arms.

The implication being ‘they’ are not us. ‘They’ spend their leisure time in the pub or down the bingo hall. Not activities we indulge them, but if it keeps ‘them’ happy, who are we to argue. Here’s your reward for a hard few years: halving the bingo tax and a penny off beer duty. Cheers!
There’s no doubt this poster will do nothing to counter the Tories being out of touch charge. They’re destined to fight the election against this backdrop. They’ll be hoping that out of touch but fiscally responsible trumps the weak and backs away from making tough decisions lot.

Sorry to break this to you dearest Twitterati, but I’m pretty sure the poster wasn’t designed with you in mind. If you spend most of your day on Twitter, commenting on politics, slagging off the Tories and/or Labour, if your only experience of a working men’s club comes from Phoenix Nights, you are definitely not the target audience.
Those who stand to benefit from said cuts will be delighted. They’re certainly not going to be fussed about a poster they’re unlikely to ever see. You see, Twitter isn’t the font of all knowledge, shocking as that may seem to some. Twitter loves to bully people into group-think, but it really isn’t an accurate representation of life out there.

I’m on the damn thing every day, but have always made sure to take a lot of what gets commented and scrutinised on there with a pinch of salt.
Yes, pundits from the Daily Mail to The Guardian have been equally scathing about the poster. Labour will use it in future campaigns as example no. 83 of the scorn Etonians have for the masses. Except, it’ll be a campaign that resonates with the usual suspects: those who despise Tories and always will. Or at least those who would never dream of voting Conservative no matter what they do.

My hunch is that the Tory brass who signed this off were making a direct appeal to traditional, Thatcherite, working class, voters. The ones who propelled her and kept her in office for 11 years. The ones Nigel Farage and his motley crew have been so successful in winning over. For the time being, anyway.
A bit of flack on Twitter won’t distract from CCHQ’s central message: out of the way Ukip. We want our working class supporters back.

This first appeared on Speaker's Chair on Thursday 20th March 2014

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