Actually, I'd say the odds were about 50/50…

Against the Odds is New Labour’s latest party political broadcast. Here it is:

In case you can’t be bothered to watch it, here’s a quick precis:

Archive footage is accompanied by disgusting music while a deep-voiced man with an acceptably RP working class accent explicitly takes the credit for the things Labour governments have achieved (“the bright shining vision of a national health service was for many an impossible dream… until we created it”) whilst implicitly taking the credit for things that were achieved by Tory governments (“they said we were wasting our time making a stand against apartheid and that things could never change… but they did”).

It’s a nice enough trip through the archives and if it has a message it is this: both Labour and Tory governments occasionally get things right. It’s an encouraging message, especially for one too cynical about democracy to be remotely partisan.

However, the Nymanesque strings and soprano soundtrack suggest that New Labour want us to read special political significance into it for them, which is worrying since they (explicitly, in this case) take credit for the Battle of Cable Street, in which a number of minority groups attacked a fascist march and a load of policemen.

For all that the minority groups were quite right to protest against the march (though I would question their methods), is this really something New Labour want to be taking the credit for? Especially when their government provoked the biggest recorded demonstration in the country? Or when police under its control have been liberal in attacking, injuring and possibly killing people involved (or indeed not involved) in peaceful protests?

New Labour might claim to be on the side of the downtrodden, or even the anarchic, but their leadership has proved that in that respect at least, they’re no different to the other side.

It’s enough to make you vote Tory, except…

Pathetic. It’s not really the smear tactics that bother me – since Labour have persisted in fighting the last three elections with similar campaigns I suppose they deserve anything they get – it’s more that it’s such a rubbish joke. Rhyming Jedward with Deadwood might cut it on facebook, but you want us to think you can lead the country and that’s the best you can do? And how long did you spend on photoshop, two minutes?

I suppose the message is this: both Labour and the Tories have crap ideas a lot of the time.

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