Your recent editorial pointing out the stage-managed visit of Ed Miliband to Leamington and Warwick recently hit the nail on the head. Nothing at all was going to be done that would put anything but the Labour Party PR and marketing peoples’ spin on the visit.
Ed would speak in front of a vetted audience, with smiling, placard-waving supporters surrounding him and not a bacon sarnie in sight.
Similar arrangements might also apply to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un when he appears in front of his smiling and waving ‘supporters’.
In years gone by Dudley Smith (former Conservative MP), during election campaigns, used to spend Saturday mornings on a soapbox in Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth. He got heckled and loved it. No PR people stage-managing that sort of campaigning. I couldn’t stand Dudley Smith but at least he had the bottle to face his voters. Now it’s all hustings with tight control, sometimes pre-submitted questions, and secret photo-shoots to impress us gullible voters.
The real irony of Miliband’s visit was that for the past five years in this constituency, while benefit cuts have hit people, while food banks have opened in our towns, in short, while many, many local people have been enduring the effects of the Coalition Government’s austerity policies - Labour have been virtually invisible.
Now, when there’s a chance to be elected to Parliament, Labour is all over us like a rash.
Suddenly they seem interested in what we think and how we feel.
Abraham Lincoln once summed it up perfectly: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
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