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Labour Spam and Conservative Emails

I’ve had one from each in the past couple of days. And both were too dull to be bothered reproducing. The Labour one was practically a begging letter, telling me how fantastic the Conservative stategy had been and how the Labour party desperately needed money to combat it – a bit of a turn-around from a ‘desperate attempt to sneak into Number Ten by the back door’…

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Labour Spam

More ‘hilarious’ and unsolicited emails from the Labour Party:

At this stage in the campaign I think it is very important that we avoid sinking to personal insults and name calling of the sort that we’ve been getting from those unprincipled scumbags in the Tory Party.

I think that’s supposed to be funny. But the irony is that it sounds more like a parody of a Blair speech than anything else.

We have to stick to the issues.

Like the issues of whether Mr Blair will be launching any more wars to add to the five in his previous eight years? Or whether someone who has openly broken Ministerial Code should resign?

And for me, one of the biggest issues is that we can’t have Michael Howard as Prime Minister.

Why not? Because you’re going to fix the voting?

It is terrifying to think that in a week’s time we could actually have a Tory government.

It isn’t even remotely scary. Let alone terrifying.

And if you just read that and thought ‘nah, it couldn’t happen’ imagine exactly the same presumption in millions of other voters; all thinking that it’s safe to abstain or vote against Labour this time.

Wouldn’t that be a joy?

There should, of course, be more to an election campaign than just being negative about the Tories.

But sadly, there isn’t.

That Charles Kennedy is a waste of space as well.

But you haven’t yet managed to convince your leader that he’s a serious threat.

But here are some important facts about the Conservative Party:


Today’s blame culture is all their fault.


When they abolish the Winter Fuel Allowance and free TV licences, pensioners will be expected to burn their tellies to keep warm.

That’s interesting. Instead of getting a £250 fuel allowance, and a £126.50 TV licence – total £376.50 – the pensioners will be rewarded under the Tories with a £500 reduction in their Council Tax bill. And yet you think that they’ll be unable to keep warm. Evidence?

Crime went up under the Tories (not surprising when you look at all the senior Tories like Archer and Aitken who ended up in prison).

And violent crime has gone up under Labour – not surprising when you look at all the violent crime precipitated by the senior Labourites like Blair and Campbell launching unjust violent wars.

When Michael Howard last faced a leadership election he came fifth. There were five candidates.

When the party leaders were rated for trustworthiness, Mr Blair came third. There were three leaders considered.

Yes when they last had the chance to vote for him, the people who know him best decided that he was:
* less appealing than John Redwood
* less of a fresh face than Kenneth Clarke
* less moderate than Peter Lilley
* and less likely to win an election than William Hague.

You know that’s what they were thinking? Evidence?

So don’t stand back and let the Tories win by accident. If it hadn’t been for people who cared taking the trouble to vote,

I don’t intend to let the Tories win by accident.

we would never have had the minimum wage

Why not? If ‘people’ hadn’t taken the trouble to vote, then surely the proportions would still have been roughly the same?

would never have had the NHS

Except the foundations and proposition for the NHS were laid by a Conservative government.

and John McCririck might have won Celebrity Big Brother.

We could only hope.

So please, if everyone who receives this email was able to persuade one wavering voter to back Labour, we could avoid another 18 years of Tory government starting on Thursday.

So once the Tories win the election, everything will be so rosy that we won’t want to return to Labour for eighteen years?

Pick one person you know and work on them non-stop from now until 5 May. The bloke I’ve chosen is still really angry with this Government but I’ve told him he has to move on and see the bigger picture. After all it was four years ago now and John Prescott didn’t mean to punch him that hard…

Humour really doesn’t work for me here.

John O’Farrell
Author and Broadcaster

Presumably writing because nobody on the campaign can be bothered with the little people.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

More Labour Spam

This really needs no introduction by now…

Dear All,


On Friday I’m going to have to make some very difficult decisions about where to place resources in the last days of the campaign. Direct mail, leaflets, posters, telephone calls – all critical investments that will make the difference in our key seats.

Why? I thought the campaign was ‘largely done‘ now. I wouldn’t bother if I were you. I’d take a long weekend, catch up with the family, maybe go fishing.

We know the Tory strategy:

How? Have you been infiltrating their private meetings again?

flooding a small handful of our key seats with messages designed to frighten their way into power.

Your key seats? The Tories are flooding your key seats? I doubt it. I think they’re probably targeting their key seats, actually. Unless you’re so arrogant that you feel that every seat is one of your seats, and it’s terrible that the other nasty parties are stealing them from you.

You’ve seen their posters.

I have. And none of them frightened me. They highlighted important election issues, and asked if I agreed with their point of view on them (which, for the most part, I don’t). But they didn’t put up big scary pictures of the opposition doctored in anti-Semitic ways, did they?

We can beat them, but I need your help.

I’m not wild about that sentence construction. You should have gone for “Together, we can beat them. But we need your help”. But hey, you didn’t. That’s your choice. Oh, and you won’t be getting my help.

Please help us in the next 24 hours.

I’ll help you in the next twenty-four hours as much as I did in the last. Is that okay with you?

Your support NOW can make a huge difference to our campaign in the last few days.

Given that there are eight days left, it seems strange that you’re talking about ‘the last few’. That’s over a third of the campaign to go.

[Link to the Labour website’s donation page]

I’m not even going to show that link, just in case anyone should be tempted to click it.

We have just a few days to stand up and shout loud to Britain

I’m not going to vote for a party that shouts at me – and I suspect I’m not alone on that. I want a party that can put forward reasoned arguments in a rational and considered way. Not the one that can shout the loudest.

if you value economic stability, a free and fair NHS and continued investment in our schools, you have to go out and vote for it.

And which party isn’t promising all of these things? And, as I’ve said before, I can’t vote for those things, because they are abstract concepts and not candidates.

Please dig deep into your pockets tonight so that the seats that need resources will get them. I know you may have donated your money and your time before, but every penny you can spare is so important.

The seats don’t need resources. The candidates need resources. Unless you’re going to be generous, and split the donations between all the candidates contesting these seats.

[Link to the Labour website’s donation page]

I’m still not showing it.

This is our fight for a historic third term Labour government – embedding progressive values for a generation.

I’m still not wild about ‘a historic’, but as a Guardian-reader I can’t really comment. And the values are only ‘progressive’ if that’s the way I choose to view them.

If you value the progress we’ve made, make a donation today.

If you value the lives of soldiers, don’t.

If you want to see opportunity for everyone, not just the privileged few, in our country, then please help us now.

If you want a truly ethical government, you’re even more naive than me. And you shouldn’t support Labour.

If you want to stop Michael Howard’s campaign of fear, help us to make our campaign as strong as possible in the last few days.

Where is this ‘campaign of fear’? I think I’ve missed it. The only campaign of fear I’ve seen is the one that keeps insisting that the Tories will charge for NHS operations (which they won’t), allow the economy to go to pot (which they won’t), and neglect the most needy (which they won’t). That’s your campaign.

[Link to the Labour website’s donation page]

You clearly underestimate my ability to click on a link you’ve already presented twice. If you think I’m that pathetic, you don’t deserve my vote.

Thanks for all you do for us – it really does make a difference.

Well, okay, I’m not sure exactly what it is I ‘do for you’, but I’m glad that you’re happy with my service.

Matt Carter
General Secretary

I bet you won’t be writing all the emails next week. If we don’t see an email proporting to be from Tony Blair within the next eight days, then I’ll post the full lyrics to the Um Bongo song come 6th May.

Now there’s a challenge.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Lib Dem Mail and Labour Spam

My first pee (Party Election Email – yes, I’m so desperate for a laugh that I’m lowering myself to toilet humour) from the Liberal Democrats:


As you read this, the first votes are being cast in the general election as postal ballot papers have started hitting doormats.

I don’t think there’s anything objectionable in that.

In our target seats across Great Britain, our campaigns are going very well. The campaigners I have met on my tour are buoyed by the very positive response on the doorsteps. The public I meet too are much more friendly and positive than in previous elections.

This could have been taken from any of the parties’ emails. Hardly ground-breaking.

Nationally the picture is good, with the party scoring its highest ever opinion poll ratings during a general election.

This, however, is impressive. The Lib Dems are doing very well in this election – and good luck to them!

Many people have told me how they have been boosted by seeing our large billboard posters around the country. A few have been a bit shocked to turn a corner and find a huge picture of myself!

Shocked? Or afraid? Very afraid?

Over this weekend, all our target seats will be working flat-out to maximise our support in the first wave of postal votes. In many seats we are poised for victory. We need to turn potential into real votes. More than 1 in 5 voters have not yet made up their minds how to vote.

Once again, bland, inoffensive, and could have been written by any party.

So next week will also see a big wave of newspaper advertising from the party. We have already had adverts in many papers, including the Express, Mail, Mirror and Telegraph.

Good to hear.

The extent of our advertising campaign depends on funds. Put simply, the more money we raise – the more we can do.

Makes sense.

You can help extend our advertising campaign by donating now.

I think not.

Best wishes
Charles Kennedy

He’s the only party leader who I truly believe actually thinks about using words like ‘best wishes’. I think he considers it, whereas other party leaders just let that kind of thing trip off the typing-fingers.

P.S. I really want our national campaign to continue to grow to support our grassroots campaigning. But that depends on having the funds – please donate now.

Still no chance, Chaz.

By far the most inbox-filling email campaign has come from Labour’s (unsolicited) emails. Here’s the latest:

Dear All,


Thank you for your support.

I offered some?

Thousands of people have already pledged their time and money to help with our local campaigning.

The mad fools.

This will mean that we will be able to speak to more voters and turn out that crucial Labour vote.

Crucial to you, maybe. Me, not so much.

But we know the Tories are planning to blitz our seats in the final few days and whatever the polls say, we know the result in our marginal seats will be very close this time – every single vote will make a difference.

That might even be why they are called marginal seats – you know, I think you’re on to something!

This election will be decided on turnout and whether we win or lose could depend on you.

No, this election will be decided on how many votes each candidate in each consituency gets. That’s how elections usually work. Unless this is some kind of electoral reform – all votes count for Labour, so the higher the turn-out, the bigger the landslide! After all, you have lots of experience fiddling elections!

We need as much time as you can give in the next fortnight and particularly on polling day itself – Thursday 5 May.

I can give you no time. Except possibly the time. And the time to ridicule you.

If you have made your pledge already then thank you.

I haven’t.

But if not please don’t wait for tomorrow

I’m certainly not waiting for tomorrow to make a pledge.

pledge today so we can plan to use our resources in the best way and make sure we deliver a historic third term Labour government.

Erm, no thanks.

Alicia Kennedy
Head of Field Operations

You sound important.

That’s my inbox emptied for the moment.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Labour Spam and Tory Mail

A bit of a two-in-one today. The Conservative email arrived first, so it only seems fair to deal with it first:

Millions of home owners will be saved an average £270 a year in council tax bills when the Conservatives win the May 5 general election.

More than questionable. Actually, few home owners will be saved £270 a year, actual figures will fluctuate around this, that being the nature of an average. And there’s some difficulty in saying whether this is a genuine ‘saving’, since they actually mean that they won’t raise Council Tax by that much. Oh, and it seems a bit premature to be talking in terms of ‘when’ – it doesn’t look positive, it looks Blairingly arrogant.

Party Leader Michael Howard has promised to halt Tony Blair’s latest stealth tax by cancelling a revaluation of domestic properties which is expected to result in seven million homes moving into a higher council tax band across England.

So instead of using the latest information, we’re going to use out-of-date archaic information which is unfair to people in new properties, whilst giving people in older ones a tax-break. Not exactly the fairest thing to do, but at least it makes you look good.

He made the pledge at an election press conference in London, which focused on the Conservative local government campaign, and where the party launched its manifesto for the local elections – also on May 5.

Well that’s nice.

Mr Howard declared:

He didn’t merely say it. He didn’t just announce it. He declared it. Which is a poor choice of words, really, since it implies that he was concealing it before. What else is he hiding?

“We will stop Mr Blair’s next stealth tax dead in its tracks by cancelling revaluation. Based on what happened in Wales, this will save seven million homes in England from paying more – £270 more, each and every year, for the typical household.”

The ‘typical’ household? What exactly does this mean? It’s an inaccurate way of communicating the average figure. ‘Average’ and ‘Typical’ are different. I could have a box of pens with 10ml of ink in 19 of them, and 100ml of ink in 1 of them. That would make the typical pen have 10ml of ink, but the average pen would have 14.5ml of ink. Typical is modal, average implies mean. Someone should give Mr Howard a maths lesson.

The commitment is part of a straight-forward five point action plan designed to keep your council tax down.

Well, actually, as a student, I don’t pay any council tax. But thanks for looking out for me.

This involves easing the burden on councils, by abolishing unnecessary and costly regulations;

There must have been a reason for introducing these regulations. I’m sure they weren’t seen as unnecessary and costly at the time. Are you sure they no longer serve any useful purpose?

ensuring fairer funding from Whitehall, by introducing greater transparency over grant distribution;

Transparency doesn’t necessarily breed fairness. You can visibly screw people over as much as you can discreetly con them. And transparency general means red tape.

delivering a fully-funded settlement for local government, with an above-inflation increase for local councils, and significant increases for schools, police and health and social services;

Whoopee… try and show me a party that doesn’t want this.

halving council tax bills for the elderly by reducing the charge levied on millions of adults aged 65 and over by up to £500 a year;

That’s part of your five point plan to keep my council tax down? Last time I checked, I’m not quite 65 as of yet. And you’ll have to be in power for some considerable time for this to benefit me.

and by scrapping the planned property revaluation throughout England.

Which, as we’ve already discussed, leaves in place inherent inequity and unfairness.

Denouncing the way Labour has hammered home owners with relentless council tax increases,

Some home owners. And it’s not as if that’s not the trend they inherited anyhow.

and warning that Liberal Democrat plans to replace the council tax with a local income tax would cost a typical hardworking family in England, with two earners, at least £600 more, he said:

What’s a ‘typical hardworking family’? I think some people would highly dispute your £600 figure. Besides which, I notice that you fail to mention how this would help single-earner households.

“I believe in rewarding families who work hard and do the right thing.

And there’s the sting: ‘do the right thing’. He wants to reward families who do what he wants them to do. Isn’t that just the same as what Labour like to do?

So I am going to stop Mr Blair’s next stealth tax by cancelling revaluation.

I think I got that message already.

While he has talked, families have been struggling

And no family will struggle under the Conservatives?

last year, for the first time in a decade, their average incomes fell thanks to Mr. Blair’s stealth taxes.

‘For the first time in a decade’ simply reflects badly on the last Conservative government. Not a good line to use. The electorate are good at maths.

The most punishing of all Labour’s stealth taxes has been the council tax.

Actually, that’s probably true. But in what way is this a ‘stealth’ tax? It’s a tax. What’s stealthy about it? Have they started issuing bills that sneak through the letter box in the dead of night and hide under the doormat?

“For most families, their home is their most valuable asset.

In a monetary sense, yes. But that’s not the terms I would’ve used if I was trying to show I lead a party that valued people.

It’s the bedrock of their security – both financial security and personal security.

Okay, fine, but where are you going with this?

But Mr Blair has used people’s homes as a means of taxing them by stealth.

It isn’t a stealth tax.

Most people will have just opened their council tax bills with horror.

Actually, I opened my with relative joy, as the council have finally managed to work out that I don’t have to pay, and have finally processed the discount correctly. Hurrah!

Well, my message to them is clear: you don’t have to settle for this.


You can make a difference.

Really? Little old me?

You can vote to stop the relentless rise in council tax.”

What, by voting Lib Dem, since they’ll abolish it?

Now, without so much as a sincere salutation from the Conservatives, we’ll switch to another ‘hilarious’ Labour spam message:

Dear All,

One of those slightly ridiculous phrases that’s slipped into the lexicon. How can ‘all’ be ‘dear’ to you? Unless you’re writing only to your former lovers, or something. But you’re not, you’re writing to some crappy mailing list that my address has somehow found itself on.

I’ll never forget Election Day 2001;

Is that a pledge? Is it in the manifesto? Or do you plan to renegade on it half way through the Parliament?

I spent it driving down posh avenues where the houses were all worth over a million, booming out the message; ‘Vote for an increase in the minimum wage!’

That’s an odd name for a candidate.

I’m sure I saw one lady covering up the ears of her cleaner.

Oh, you’re just hilarious.

This time around if we don’t get our voters to the polls on 5 May, we will have a Tory government in just two weeks’ time.

Well, no, that’s not the way it works. You see, in order for that to happen, you’d have to have people voting for the Conservatives. It doesn’t just automatically happen if you don’t mobilise the cronies.

Simple as that.

Well no, actually, it’s not.

Four years of Prime Minister Michael Howard on the telly every night and the evening news having to have an 18 certificate.

Because of Labour’s increasingly desperate attempts to get back into power?

At this election it will be harder to get our supporters to the polls and we may well have less people with which to do it.

I wouldn’t have used ‘less’ people. It indicates that you see each person as one of a larger mass, instead of ‘fewer people’ which would have signified that you value each one individually. But that’s just semantics. And why will it be harder to get your supporters to the polls? Because they don’t think you deserve their vote? Why’s that?

That is why you are needed from now till 5 May more than at any point since Labour came to power.

Well I’m telling people not to vote Labour, so I doubt it’s really me you want.

So how about warning the boss now that you’ll be taking a day’s annual leave on election day?

Erm… no thanks.

Because what are you realistically going to achieve by going into work on 5 May?

Well compared to what Mr Blair does on an average day – invade a country here and there, spin some lies, break some promises – probably not a lot.

A few hours sitting in front of a computer playing Solitaire? Entering your own name in Google and then being slightly indignant that someone with your name has their own website?

Glad to see you value your workforce, especially since you’re traditionally the party of public sector workers. This tends to support the Tory argument that there’s an awful lot more waste in the system than you care to admit.

Alternatively you could be out there making history as you help Labour win an unprecedented third term.

Or making history by providing the political comeback for Mr Blair’s hugely unpopular actions over Iraq?

And election day is fun!

Every seat Mr Blair loses is fun.

What could be more enjoyable than sitting outside a polling station making small talk with a Tory for two hours?

Poking Mr Blair with a big stick?

Or you could do some car calls. Imagine the satisfaction from discovering that a retired mini-cab driver wanted a lift to the polling station, saying ‘yeah, the car’s on its way’ and then making him wait two hours.

That’s how much you value your voters, then?

And it will have been ages since you had a day off work.

Yep, because you’ve failed to introduce more Bank Holidays, despite apparantly wanting to do so.

Not counting the Monday 2 May which is a Bank Holiday. And Easter a few weeks ago. And then there’s another Bank Holiday at the end of May, but apart from that, when did you last miss a day’s work?

Not a bad return, actually, considering you don’t know what I’m saying.

It’s not as if you are going to be staying up all night on Thursday, so you’ll be full of energy when you get in early the next morning…

No, because you’ve failed to energise the voters, so they’ll be apathetic on election night.

So go on – do something really worthwhile from now until 5 May.

Like criticising your spam?

One day away from the office or four years of Michael Howard in office – surely it’s no contest.

Certainly not.

John O’Farrell
Author and Broadcaster

Alistair Campbell’s not been asked to write another email, then?


Oh grief, there’s more.

If you can’t give time perhaps you could give some money

I think not.

how about £67?

How about nout?

That’s a weekend’s minimum wage

If you work 13.8 hours. Which would be, frankly, bizarre.

or twice as much as Robert Kilroy-Silk spent on that sun-ray lamp on Ebay.

Sure that wasn’t Tony? He suddenly developed a tan. In a day. Apparently by spending that day in the sun.

Well there we go. That’s my political inbox emptied and spleen vented for now. Phew. It took nearly 2000 words, but we got there. Well done if you got through it all. You deserve a medal.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Labour spams-up for the taste…

More Labour junk mail today, here’s what they have to say (the whole post won’t be in rhyming couplets, you’ll be glad to know, it’s just started that way).

Today we need you to help us keep the NHS free.

Why, when none of your opposition parties – not even the Monster Raving Loony Party – oppose that measure?

Michael Howard and the Tories want to bring in charges for hospital operations.

Woah, cowboy, that’s simply not true. In fact, the Tories want to cut the price of private operations. That’s not bringing in charges. That’s reducing them. I can see why your party would be confused, after all when you say ‘No tax rises’ you mean ‘Higher taxes’.

If elected the Tories say they will take over £1 billion from the NHS and put it into private healthcare subsidies for those who can afford to pay.

Correct-i-mundo, thereby reducing the capacity the NHS has to deal with, and thus reducing waiting times. You’re not against a bit of private help with the NHS are you? You introduced it, after all.

So if you can afford to go private you go to the front of the queue and pay a charge.

Wrong I’m afraid. You don’t go to the front of the queue, you go in a completely different queue, just as if I were to go private today. Or are you saying that all your constituents who choose to go to a private dentist instead of waiting for you to sort out the NHS situation – which, by the way, you promised to do by last year – are jumping the queue? Perhaps you’d like to publically denounce their actions, because this is clearly damaging the NHS if they’re jumping the queue – after all, that’d be seeing patients according to their financial situation and not their clinical need, which you claim to oppose. You can’t have it both ways.

But what about those who can’t afford to pay the Tory charges to go private?

They continue under the current system, but have less time to wait because those who can afford to do so now have an incentive to go private. So both sets of people get treated faster.

You go to the back of the queue.

No, no, no. I’ve already explained this. Are you a bit thick? You don’t go to the back of the queue, you go into a different queue altogether. Otherwise, if you’re going to use that terminology, we’re all at the back of the queue at the moment, except for the few who go private. But you’re trying to sell us the idea that you’re reducing waiting times and these queues are getting better. So is being on an NHS hospital waiting list a good thing, or is it ‘being at the back of the queue’? You can’t have it both ways. Well, actually, you probably can, since you can say you’ll oppose top-up fees and then go right ahead and introduce them anyway.

The costs are not peanuts.

No, but they are a lot lower than they are under your current administration. 50% lower, to be exact.

Take a look – costs to jump the queue:
Cataract removal £2,500
Hip replacement £6,650
Knee replacement £7,500
Heart bypass £11,500

Please pay attention! These are not costs to jump the queue. They are private healthcare charges. And you charge double those figures. So surely I should be smiling with delight to find that I can now get my hypothetical cataracts removed for £2,500 in a plush private hospital, whereas under Labour, I have to pay £5000. So what the heck is your point?

Britain faces a clear choice in 17 days, between those who support a National Health Service as envisaged by its founders – free at the point of use.

Well that’s a nice, if grammatically flawed, sentence.

And the Tories who would bring in charges for hospital operations.

Oh, there’s the other half. And you still don’t get it. Let’s use some boldness. The Tories will not bring in charges for hospital operations. That is a lie. They will reduce the cost of private operations that poeple pay under Labour. Whichever way you look at it, the cost of healthcare is reduced. It’s free to everyone, and if you choose to go private you no longer have to pay twice for your operation, because the portion you’ve paid in tax will be refunded.

Since 1997, our commitment to the NHS has provided record numbers of doctors and nurses and in a historic Labour third term we will continue our investment.

Or, indeed, in an historic third term. But every other party also advocates increased spending on the NHS. This is not a unique distinction of yours. It tells me nothing about how Labour policies differ from the policies of others.

The choice is clear: forward with reduced waiting times, better hospitals, more nurses and more doctors or backwards under the Tories to charges, long waiting lists and more than £1 billion being taken out of the NHS to subsidise private operations for the few.

The Tories will not charge for people to have NHS operations. I can’t believe you don’t get this. And if more people are encouraged to go over to the private healthcare system, how does that make waiting times longer? That’s a crazy thing to say. And, it’s a smaller point, but the Tories are not taking £1bn out of the NHS, they’re just not putting that £1bn into it.

It is not enough just to want the NHS to get better.

You mean sitting here saying ‘I want the NHS to get better’ won’t change anything?!

If you value the NHS, you have to vote for it.

Erm, that will be difficult, because the NHS is not a candidate in this election.

We need everyone who wants to keep the NHS free to sign our petition now and send Michael Howard a strong message that the NHS should be kept free.

Michael Howard has signed the petition, because he also wants the NHS to remain free. I’m sure Charles Kennedy would sign it too. So what exactly is the point of a petition, when everyone agrees on a similar position?

Sadly, no salutation from anybody on this, so I don’t know who wrote it. But whoever it was is either trying to deliberately mislead people (something Labour is intimately familiar with), or they’re just to stupid to understand other policies, and look at the merits of them. Either way, someone who’s attempted to ram a blatant lie down the throat of however many people this unsolicited email was sent to should resign. But then, in the Labour party, lying is encouraged, and is certainly not something one resigns over. Is it, Mr Blair?

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

More Labour Spam

Alistair Campbell this time, with some nasty negative campaigning.

Well there it is – the Tories have published their manifesto today and all around you can almost hear the country’s civil servants asking “how on earth do we turn that into a policy programme for government?”

Thin or what?

Well they never managed to turn your 2001 manifesto into a policy programme for government, did they Alistair? After all, you made lots of commitments in that which you’ve completely failed to keep, and several that you’ve done a complete U-turn on. So I don’t think you can start insulting other party’s manifestos when you can’t even live up to your own pitifully low standards. And I notice that you chose the word ‘thin’ very carefully, since you’re about to launch the smallest manifesto in British electoral history, what with it being pocket-size and all.

I suggest we move on. Moving on is something you’re keen to do, after all.

But more than that, the Tory “manifesto” is dangerous. Economically dangerous above all. As Tony and Gordon said yesterday, you cannot cut tax and increase spending and reduce borrowing with the same money at the same time.

I think you’re a bit simple. I don’t necessarily agree with the Conservative economic plans, but I do know that they’ve been fully costed, and, unlike Labour’s plans, several economic experts agree with their proposals.

How can you cut tax, increase spending, and reduce borrowing, all at the same time? By reducing government waste, and then splitting the money you save between those three policies. Was that difficult to understand? Probably not enough spin on it for you.

I remember the agonies we went through in opposition to make sure Labour policies stacked up and the sums added up. It is apparent that Mr Howard and the ludicrous Letwin have shown nothing like the rigour Tony and Gordon did back in 1997.

Such agony that you promised not to raise taxes, and then – erm – did. That doesn’t sound much like a policy that adds up to me. And it’s nice to see that you made all of your policies add up in 1997. Did you not bother in 2001, or indeed this time?

The Tory manifesto, the thinnest in history, confirms that the Tories intend to fight a totally negative, small bore campaign focusing on a series of negative messages and without even an attempt to put a positive vision for the future.

Point to the positive vision that you’ve emailed me up to now, and I’ll give you a banana.

It is a campaign based on fear and grievance.

This from the party that says that our whole country is at risk if we vote Conservative. That sounds like a campaign based on fear to me. And is it not right for the opposition to have grievance with the government? Most of the people of this country have.

You can see it from their posters and the messages that come pouring out of Mr Howard, his hidden away Shadow Cabinet and “immigrant” Australian campaign managers.

Hidden away members of the party? Doesn’t that describe you? Hidden away until your role in the election was exposed? And what about the internet guru who’s registed Michael Howard domain names, and was shamed in America for comparing George W Bush to Hitler? The Labour party won’t even tell us what he’s doing!

To call the Tory party campaign managers ‘immigrants’ is a cheap shot and you know it. The Conservative party, whose immigration policity I personally abhor, are not saying that immigration should halt, which is the myth you are helping to perpetuate. They have different, some think more sensible, policies than you. That does not mean that your policy is better, and it doesn’t mean that their’s is better. It invites reasoned comparison. Not dishonest lies.

And which memebers of the Shadow Cabinet have been hidden away? I’ve seen most of them on a number of political shows. If anybody’s hiding a member of the cabinet, then it’s your party hiding it’s head, by featuring him on only a handful of election materials.

But the Labour Party can still take nothing for granted. The Tories have a lot more money than we do. They have more for posters, more for campaign materials, more for organisation.

So the Conservatives can actually do some things better?

They have several newspapers led by the vile (interestingly an anagram of evil) Daily Mail willing to pour out free pro-Howard propaganda and ridiculous anti-Labour bile for them.

The Daily Mail is vile? Was it vile when it supported you vociferously in 1997? Was it vile when you took nearly every policy cue from them? Or is this a new development, now it’s gone all Conservative on you?

So we have to use every way we can to get over positive messages about our record and above all our future programme for a third term if we are elected.

Well you’re not doing very well. I have yet to hear anything positive from you. Everything has been a slur on the Conservatives. Even your election slogan is a dig, with it’s ‘not back’ tag.

Party election broadcasts are a well known way of trying to get over a message during the campaign. Tonight the first is aired. It focuses on our greatest strength, the economy, and does so by recording a series of conversations between Tony and Gordon. They are the two main architects of New Labour and drivers of progress in the last eight years.

I was supposed to believe they were spontaneous conversations? That whole broadcast was a joke. It couldn’t have been a more clearly crafted attempt to show Blair and Brown as united if you’d put up a caption saying ‘We’re not fighting’. And nobody believes it. In fact, nobody believes anything Labour says any more. And, hilariously, that’s largely your fault.

Watch it. Get your friends to watch it. I defy anyone who does to say afterwards that Mr Howard and Mr Letwin should take over from them.

It didn’t even begin to show anything that would make me favour Mr Blair over Mr Howard, or indeed Mr Brown over Mr Letwin. It did provide some light entertainment though, with the poor acting and Mr Blair’s steely resolve not to smile. After all, the focus groups don’t like smiling.

Best wishes,
Alastair Campbell

I don’t think I even need to reiterate my personal feelings about you. The worst aspect of your nature is that you’re not even very good at what you do, as I’ve detailed before. You symbolise everything that’s wrong with Labour. But, just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s what I think of your role in the election campaign.

I said it then, and I’ll say it now. Labour should be ashamed to have you back on board, and it can do nothing but harm to their campaign.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

More Labour spam

It’s my favourite kind of spam again… this time, purporting to be from Mr Anthony Blair himself:

If you have been keeping up with the news, you may already know that I went to the Palace a few minutes ago to ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament.

What, no greeting? Well, anyway, yes, I did know that. But it was more than a few minutes ago. In fact, it was several hours ago.

I wanted to get this message out to you straight away about what’s at stake at the election and how you can help. This will be a tough campaign and we will have to fight for every seat and every vote.

Well you didn’t do very well on your ‘straight away’ target, did you? But then, what targets have you done well on? This will be a tough campaign, I quite agree – after all, most polls agree that Labour’s going to win, and it’s not going to be easy to get the necessary swing to stop them. We really do have to fight for every seat and every vote, you’re quite right.

We’re going to need the help of every Labour supporter – to distribute the leaflets, to talk to voters on the doorsteps and get on those phones.

I know much of the local party membership dislike Mr Blair, but would they really campaign against him? I think you’re being a bit optimistic, dear.

If you’ve never volunteered to help Labour’s campaign before, make this your first time. If you’re an old hand, we need you now more than ever.

Why would I want to volunteer to help Labour? Oh, I understand, you think I should sabotage the campaign from the inside. But isn’t that a bit of dirty politics? I guess we have to stoop very low, though, to beat a party which is a dab hand at cheating in elections.

For what’s at stake on May 5 is the future direction of our country – whether it goes forward or back.

I certainly don’t dispute that.

Labour hasn’t, by any means, achieved all we want yet.

After eigtht years? What have you been playing at, then? Launching illegal wars, and getting your knickers in a twist about keeping the fact they’re illegal secret?

And you may not agree with every decision I have made.

Too true.

But there’s been real progress in communities up and down the land.

What’s progress? Where exactly are you talking about?

Our country is fairer, more modern and successful than it was eight years ago.

Is the introduction of top-up fees by people who were paid to go to university fair? Is the inability to run an election free of blatant fraud modern? Does the fact that we have to cater to Brussels’s every whim make us successful?

And May 5 will decide whether we can build on – and accelerate – the progress made in spreading opportunity and prosperity.

What progress in spreading opportunity? Does providing young people with criminal records through ASBOs help their opportunities? And what’s this about prosperity? We’re worse off now than we were last year!

Or whether the Tories can succeed in taking Britain back to the failed and risky policies of cuts, charges and economic mismanagement.

Here we are again with the ‘Tories = Evil’ message, without actually making any firm promises of your own. Do you think the electorate don’t notice this?

Over the next five weeks, I will be out and about across the country spelling out that choice. And so will all my colleagues.

Oh dear God, please don’t come near here. And I’m sure you won’t be out and about that much, given you’re absence (until today) from your party’s homepage, and your unwillingness to engage in an open debate with the other party leaders. What is it you’re scared of, Mr Blair?

I hope to see you on the campaign trail.

I very much doubt that sentiment.

But if you have a question for me, you can visit the website labour.org.uk and let me know.

Hmm… How about, ‘What exactly was the full advice given to you by the Attorney General in advance of the Iraq War?’. Or how about, ‘Why did you present intelligence you knew was shaky as firm and concrete?’

I can’t promise to answer them all.

I’ll bet. It’d be something of a first if you actually answered any questions that weren’t to your liking.

But I’ll answer as many as I can throughout the campaign.

Carefully screened first, of course. In fact, why don’t you just make up your ideal questions, and answer them? It seems to be your PMQs strategy.

It’s less than five weeks now to polling day. Five weeks in which the future of our country is in our hands.

Very definitely.

We have a good story to tell.

Very true – a story of lies, deceit, and corruption.

Let’s go out and tell it.

Well, you see, I would, but every time anyone criticises your government, you launch a massive smear campaign that’s always full of blatant lies and often offensive to great swathes of the population, which rather creates difficulties for us.

Yours sincerely, Tony Blair

I doubt that very much – do you even know what the word ‘sincere’ means? And do you think anybody believes you actually write this political poop?

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

More Labour Spam

The Labour Party are at is again, clearly not having learned from their last disastrous email attempt, which was widely criticised. And, unbelievably, they still aren’t publicising anything about their policies – just attacking the Conservatives, as usual…



I once got a computerised letter from the New Statesman that said ‘Dear John O’Farrell, subscribe now and get a free copy of Things Can Only Get Better by John O’Farrell’.

How fascinating. There’s a good reason for me to vote for you, if ever there was one.

I’m emailing you as a fellow supporter,

But I don’t support Labour!

don’t worry you don’t have to buy the book.

What a relief. Isn’t your sense of humour just spot-on?!

Anyway, as a Labour activist who has helped the party lose elections at every level, I have been asked to say why I’m going out leafleting for Labour for the general election and why I hope you’ll volunteer to do something too.

Well you certainly weren’t asked to do so by me, so why has this ended up clogging my inbox?

Everyone agrees the election, whenever that may come, is going to be the closest since 1992 and it is perfectly possible that the Tories could defy the polls to win power as they did in 1970.

Possibly the only sentence in this whole email I don’t have a problem with.

A major factor between now and polling day is how many Labour supporters we can mobilise. As Voltaire said; ‘All that is necessary for the Tories to triumph is that Labour Party supporters do nothing.’ (Okay, it’s a very loose translation.)

Oh, there you are with the humour again. Stop it, or I’ll giggle my socks off.

Like me, you may not agree with everything that has happened since 1997,

Too true.

but come election time we cannot risk throwing away all the fantastic achievements of the past eight years.

But can we afford not to throw away all of the terrible disasters and failures of the past eight years?

If we sit back and do nothing now, we’ll be turning our backs on all the millions who’ve had their lives radically improved by the minimum wage or Working Families Tax Credit not to mention the millions of people in the third world who’ve benefited from the massive increase in overseas aid.

Equally, if we support you, we’d turn our back on the millions of bereaved relatives in Iraq, not to mention the millions of people in this country who’ve suffered from increased council tax and top-up fees.

This isn’t emotional blackmail. Oh all right, it is emotional blackmail, but what the hell?

Well, Alan Milburn said you’d do anything to win the election. Clearly, blackmail isn’t beyond you. But what should be expect from a party with a culture of lying, sleaze, and revolving doors?

It is vital that we get our leaflets through millions of letter boxes over the next few weeks – otherwise those rabid Rottweilers waiting on the other side of the door will have nothing to rip to shreds.

Again with the humour! You’re killing me! My sides are splitting!

But if you think those dogs are scary, just imagine Michael Howard on the other side of that front door in Downing Street the morning after the election…

Good at name-calling, aren’t you? Michael Howard’s been Fagin, a Pig, and now a Dog. I’m quite impressed. Certainly valid political arguments, and clear policies of what you plan to do better.

John O’Farrell
Author and Broadcaster

Given up on Tony Blair apparently sending emails, then?


Oh grief, there’s more!

The Labour Party machine has dragged me in to harass you into campaigning.

Presumably because they don’t want anyone from the Party doing that, because we wouldn’t beleive what they were telling us.

So I’ll be emailing you from now until the election.

Oh joy.

If your friends and family would like to sign up, they just need to follow the link:

Believe me, they don’t.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Labour lies about pension reforms

John Hutton MPOn the Today programme this morning, some Labour official or other insisted that the pension reforms they’d come up with were designed to be ‘non-partisan’ and they hoped to reach a ‘cross-party consensus’, not play party-political games. The claim was repeated on The World at One, and quite possibly on many other news broadcasts throughout the course of the day. Of course, making such claims simply sets up clear criticism of any party who dares to point out flaws in the White Paper, so really it’s a good strategy. If only they stuck to it.

Unforunately, they didn’t. Tonight, I received an email from the Labour Party (much like those I’ve received in the past):

The proposals we are publishing today represent the greatest renewal of our pensions system since the post-war reforms implemented by Clement Attlee’s government… Since 1997, we have made real progress in tackling the appalling legacy of pensioner poverty we inherited from the Tories, so far helping a million pensioners out of poverty.

Non-partisan? I think not. Why is it that even when they think they’re doing the right thing, the Labour spin machine just can’t help pumping out lies? And how can they say they’ve had ‘real progress on pensioner poverty’ when Council Tax has soared, and OAPs imprisoned for failing to pay? I just don’t get it.

Mr Hutton’s changes mean that I will be working until I’m 68. That’s fine, I have nothing against working into old age. I mean, most 68-year-olds can’t set a video recorder, and I’ll no doubt have a similar incompetence when it comes to the medical breakthroughs and technologies of the 2050s, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. And when I’m taking your blood or excising some growth, I’m sure you won’t be too worried about my small tremour. And at the end of a twelve-hour shift, I’m sure you’ll forgive my aging brain for prescribing a drug that just happens to react with something else someone else gave you.

Of course, working to 68 will allow me to earn the money to cover the student debts that Labour have given me – otherwise my net income over my working career would be reduced.

Not that much of it matters anyway: Predictions are that there will be 3,000 junior doctors unable to find suitable training posts by the time I qualify. If I never get a job, I’ll never have to retire. Now there’s a cheery thought 😉

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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