Contain your excitement, it’s political broadcast season! And the first of the bunch that is even vaguely worth talking about comes from the Greens. Have a watch below, and then let’s get stuck in:
They’ve gone with a humorous parody of the political landscape to form the bulk of the broadcast, and for the most part it works. The gags are funny and the children engaging. Then, in the last minute the message suddenly shifts gear to deliver a more sober appeal for votes. This is about what we’ve come to expect from the Green Party (in fact, didn’t they already do this concept before? Or have I just seen it on Newswipe or something?). In the last general election they parodied the other parties as boyband figures. The theme of “the rest are all the same and not as clever as us” is certainly the one they’ve been hammering away at for some time now.
So, does the video work? Well it’s funny, but I’m not sure it will switch many votes. If anything it makes these figures more sympathetic. It’s easy to loathe a politician, but a child dressed up as them humanises that figure. Most of the Green Party’s support will come from the left, and yet what left-leaning person wouldn’t sympathise with the well-meaning Corbyn child in the video? I think the Greens missed a trick by not including themselves. True to do so wouldn’t have fed the false assertion at the heart of clip (that the Greens are somehow grown up unlike other parties), but self-deprecation is a lot more endearing that being lectured at. Also, I come away from the video having been reminded of all these figures who I may or may not want to support in other parties, but with no green alternative, let alone who this random figure is at the end.
This brings us to the worst aspect of the video, which is the condescending speech. You can’t have an election broadcast which consists solely of dressing children up as your opponents and making them act silly, only to claim that you’re the grown up in the equation. The hypocrisy utterly destroys the video. It is as if late in the day someone pointed out, “In making this, aren’t we being the very children we’re making our opponents out to be?” and they panicked and quickly tacked on the end to make themselves look more serious. Not to mention the rather creepy way the children are being watched on the monitors.
But still, it got me writing about it so there’s that.
I have endless respect for MP for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb, and this stand he took on the 23 March is a good example why. I’ll be addressing this issue on a podcast soon, but for now you can listen to the entire speech he made below:
You’ll also notice Labour MP Paul Flynn in the background, another courageous campaigner on this issue.