I was half sleeping on my journey this morning and as my coach stopped in a London traffic jam I opened one eye to look out the window to get a big shock. There, staring straight at me, was a six foot image of David Cameron’s head! Quite a fright!
I later discovered these posters are all over London – I must have seen 12 Dave Camerons today. If you haven’t seen them, they feature his very large head with the message ‘We can’t go on like this. I’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS.’
On later reflection there are three mistakes with this. Firstly, by use of the word ‘I’ it implies that David will get out his cheque book and personally contribute. Really of course it will be you and I cutting the deficit by paying the huge taxes they will land us with. Secondly, why the NHS? This is a weak area with the Tories, especially with their negligent behaviour in past governments and an MEP bashing it to the Americans, so why focus on it? Why not choose an area where the Tories have a stronger card to play?
Finally, the face itself. I recall the 1979 election featuring posters of Jim Callaghan. Now he had a type of avuncular image. Good old Jim, the guy who will shake your hand, buy you a pint, and start the whole pub singing. Dave just looks like the grammar school bully who was good at sports and took your lunch money.
So I am surprised that the Conservatives' advertising people went ahead with this. I can’t imagine the poster swinging voters in their direction – which can only be a good thing for the rest of us.