Election Propaganda: the English Edition

“THE ENGLISH DEMOCRATS: NOT LEFT, NOT RIGHT, JUST ENGLISH”

Hmmm. I guess I must be English. I was born in London, have a tendency to talk about the weather a lot, drink far too much tea, and whinge about the form of the England football team on a fairly regular basis. I’m sure you know lots of people like that. You may even be English yourself.

But there’s more to me than “just English”. No-one is “just” anything, not even the English – despite that famous understatement we’re supposed to have. I may be English by birth, but, like most English people, my ancestry is a bit more complicated than that (Welsh and German, if you’re that curious). That’s part of what being English is. We all have our own version of it. We’re a nation of immigrants, right back to our earliest days.

However, I don’t recognise the version of ‘English’ put forward by the English Democrats, whose slightly upper-case obsessed and shouty election literature is the latest to arrive on my doormat.

“time to put ENGLAND first!”

it announces, although it took me some time to figure that out as the leaflet is also covered in untidy (but just about properly punctuated)  block capital marker pen scrawl:

“GREED ISN’T GOOD!”

it begins – accurately – then continues in a blaze of amusingly misplaced hopefulness and rather big assumptions:

“YOUR ED CANDIDATE WILL ONLY CLAIM HALF THE MPS SALARY”

(Which is assuming ‘our’ ED candidate doesn’t lose his or her deposit, of course… Although stranger things have happened in the South Yorkshire town of Doncaster, where the inhabitants are still paying the price of electing an English Democrat as mayor last May).

All well and somewhat unprofessionally presented so far, then; but the alarm bells really started ringing as I read on. For a start, there’s absolutely no mention anywhere at all in the leaflet of the identity of the English Democrats’ candidate in this constituency (presumably he or she wielded the marker pen?), nor any mention of a party leader or leadership.

In fact, their leaflet manages to make them sound more like a bunch of irate toddlers having a mass tantrum than a serious political party. On opening it up, the reader is confronted with a banner headline (all in block caps, natch) which essays forth their main demand in no uncertain terms:

“WE WANT OUR COUNTRY BACK NOW! THE ENGLISH DEMOCRATS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”

Because, after hundreds of years of England and the English taking charge of everything, these sad little nationalists are threatened by the fact that those big, nasty, bullying Welsh and Scots boys are ganging up on them by daring to have their own ruling assemblies. It just sounds so petulant.

And then there’s the rest of their policies. Most, if not all, of these are small-minded and unpleasantly nationalist, particularly such dubious declarations as:

“Assistance to genuine refugees should be given to those in their own or neighbouring countries. No more so-called asylum seekers should be allowed into England. Britain should withdraw from the outdated 1951 UN Convention on refugees”

And this from the so-called representatives of a country with a long and highly productive history of  immigration? Oh dear. That’s not very friendly, is it, English Democrats? Not very tolerant either – particularly when the leaflet goes on to disingenuously insist that:

“We are a tolerant nation. We tend to make the best of a bad job. We form queues, crack jokes, and maintain our English reserve”

We are a tolerant nation in many ways, that in itself is true enough. But the English Democrats are getting annoyed now and they want you to know that tolerance is generally A Bad Thing, apparently, because:

“… that tolerance has led to the current situation where our interests and culture are either ignored or denigrated”

And, naturally, it is the English Democrats who claim they have the solution to ‘the current situation’, although I’m not entirely sure what that would be from this:

“The English Democrats are offering a fresh start. It is time to reject the cliché-ridden politics of yesterday, and to look to the future”

Reading that, I suspect it is time for the EDs to look up the definition of the word cliché before they write any more leaflets. Aiming your election literature at a certain breed of batshit mad Daily Mail readers is unlikely to get you taken seriously by the vast majority of the English population, particularly when you write sentences like this:

“The Human Rights Act has abolished common sense in favour of political correctness”

It’s a conspiracy! It’s PC gorn maaad, maaad I tell you!

If, after all of that rubbish, the English Democrats haven’t put you off their sneaky brand of nationalist intolerance and you still somehow desire to find out more, there is a (premium rate) phone number which you can call or text for further information. But, as always, you mustn’t forget that:

Texts cost 50p and telephone calls charged at £1.50 per minute from BT lines at all times. Other operators charges may vary. All proceeds go to help fund the campaign for England!”

Oh, and remember to ask the bill payer’s permission before dialling. Hopefully the bill payer will then also tell you not to be so bloody stupid…

For those readers who are not so fond of politics, I am afraid you will find little else here until after the election on May 6th! There is more Election Propaganda on the way – we haven’t even got to the Liberal Democrat and Green Party election literature yet, and the third and final leaders’ debate will be on Thursday 29th April.

Your comments are always welcome here, I’d love to hear from you. What are your views on the debates so far? Do you think the Liberal Democrats stand a chance now? Will you be voting? Have you decided who to vote for? Have you received any particularly hilarious election literature from your local candidates? Tell me about it!

NB: No names, no pack drill. In the spirit of non-partisan fair play, equal rights to criticism for all, and because I refuse to do their campaigning for them, none of the local candidates whose election literature I’ll be looking at on Another Kind Of Mind will be individually named. However, regular readers and those prepared to do a little Googling will not find it difficult to figure out to whom I am referring!

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3 comments

  1. trv

    Well, Tricky – you don’t sound all that ‘tolerant’ of EDs !
    I bet you once were quite a lefty, if not still. I don’t want to read more to find out right now..
    As to premuim rates – at least people know they’re paying unlike the main parties penchant for their subsidies via expenses and union freebies, like £10M for’ communication’ development.
    [Did any come your way? – some certainly got back where it started- 5M for Nu Liebore election fund. Luvverly, if you can get it..]