I’m not a fan of spam, whether it is tinned or letter boxed. I find them both to be extremely disappointing. Most mornings I scamper eagerly to the door after I hear the distinctive noise of letters being thrust through the letterbox. Here I find myself being confronted, not by a carefully constructed love letter from Edith Piaf, but instead that Pete’s perfect pizza is doing a deal and I’d be CRAZY to miss it. Every damn morning I get tricked and every morning I fall for it. Recently however it’s not coronary heart disease that’s on the menu, instead apparently labour have got two for one on “a future fair for all” and the Tories are half price on their “we can’t go on like this” Sunday special. They’re all singing the same tune in reality, just on different coloured paper. As I live in Salford, most of the leaflets coming through the door depict Hazel Blears either dying or explaining she’ll introduce the death penalty for breathing if re-elected. A leaflet I received recently however I had to have a very in depth look at, for it was from our old friends the British National Party. I am in no way here to tut and shake my head at the BNP like an old person who just heard a child swearing, but instead to make a simple observation about the way they portray themselves.
If I was a member of the BNP, and got to decide what the leaflets were going to look like, Then in gold writing at the top of page 1 of the plan it would say “Don’t have a big over bearing picture of Nick Griffin on the front” and second on the list would be “Don’t over use colours that are synonymous with other political parties”. I suppose this is why I don’t design the leaflets and also why right on the front of the bright yellow leaflet is a face that could make small children cry. He’s not even smiling; there’s a stern look about him like he’s trying to not give away where he’s hidden the bodies. I know that what someone looks like doesn’t affect their quality of governing or their policies but in this PR driven age a smile would be nice.
The main focal point of this front of the leaflet is this picture of Nick Griffin and Winston Churchill next to each other in similar poses. They are clearly trying to draw comparison between the two men but this is where my confusion starts. The BNP are extremely anti Europe “A BNP government will withdraw from the European Union.” Quotes their website, however their best friend Churchill had an extremely pro European stance. Not towing the party line very well are you Winston? I wonder if there was some miss communication and they actually wanted the dog off the adverts. The other reason why the use of Churchill (the man) confused me was because he is seen as a great wartime leader and was in fact voted out in the 1945 election because people felt him to not be the right leader for a country at peace. So how comes if I turn over this leaflet does it say “bring our boys home.” By Nick comparing himself to Churchill but wanting a country at peace, he’s actually saying the British public shouldn’t vote for him. This, in my humble opinion, is a pretty poor way of trying to win an election.