Negative campaigning – the easiest way

Take a look at the video above. Is it effective?

I think it is. A short message with a sting in its tail, coupled with a soundtrack that supports what’s being said by adding emotional connotations (‘Britishness’, turning to a harsh wind).

It’s a soundbite in video form – a videobite, if you like. Memorable, shareable – and easily debatable, because the message is so clear.

Conservatives are very good at putting out negative soundbites for their opponents. It would be useful to give them a taste of how it feels, so please share the video wherever you like.

Here’s another example of negative campaigning, found on the social media, on the subject of UKIP:


As effective?

Nobody seems to talk about UKIP’s domestic policies. This was mentioned, to great effect, on the BBC’s Question Time yesterday (Thursday).

The trouble with this one is it’s a ‘deep’ poster, meaning you have to scroll down to see the end of it – so the effect is less immediate.

The sad fact is that both of the above are more effective than so-called ‘positive’ campaigning, in which a political party or its representative promotes its policies as better for the country than anyone else’s.

Yesterday, the Labour Party announced it will repeal the so-called ‘Gagging Law’ – The Transparency of Lobbying (etc) Act – if elected into Parliament. At the time it was passed, Vox Political said this marked the end of free speech and free protest in the UK and the article had a huge audience of more than 100,000. So this announcement should have been greeted with joy, right? What response do you think it got?

It has been read just 128 times and of the three comments on the site, two are hugely negative – the first words being “I’ll believe it when I see it”.

It shows how far politicians have fallen in our trust.

That’s why negative campaigning is on the rise.

It seems those who want the public’s trust can only earn it by showing that the others don’t deserve it.

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66 thoughts on “Negative campaigning – the easiest way

    1. Mike Sivier

      Yes – or it could be turned into a ‘videobite’ like the one at the top of the article – just ‘fade’ one frame of text into the next.

  1. Barry Davies

    I don’t think either of them work, unlike the more subtle tory “for hardworking people” does, which doesn’t actually say its true meaning that anyone who isn’t working is going to get nothing at all, it is anti unemployed needy incapacitated disabled and retired, but is so subtle most will not realise what they are being told.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I certainly think you have a point about the Tory slogan.
      What do other readers think? Let’s have a debate about what constitutes worthwhile campaigning. Is ANY of it valid, considering the current lack of trust in the political class?

  2. Maxwell Turnbull

    This is really just an aside, I cannot help but smile when the Tories use Gustav Holst’s music, commonly called ” Jupiter ” to ( hopefully ) invoke a knee-trembler amongst the ‘faithful’.
    I wonder if they realize that he came from an immigrant family and that he professed a political view that was decidedly of a Socialist hue?
    I suppose that it’s another case of ignorance being bliss!

    1. Mike Sivier

      What? But… but I had an endless loop planned, just the way people like it! It would have been just like when they’re waiting to be connected to a (government) call centre. You know how people LOVE that!

      1. Barry Davies

        As long as you keep ludwig vans glorious 9th choral out of it, I used to love that piece before the eurotw@s hijacked it to play when they pick up their inflated salaries.

  3. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    As well as making a thought-provoking point about changes in style and effective political campaigning, this also makes the excellent point that very little attention is given to UKIP’s domestic policies. As you can see from that example, they’re horrific, and would plunge this country back to the Victorian era. Most UKIP supporters are actually very left-wing, almost as Left as Labour supporters, and so the silence concerning UKIP’s domestic policies undoubtedly contributes to that party’s continued rise as a political force, and the belief amongst some of its members and supporters that it is somehow a ‘centrist’ party. It is not, and if Farage gets in, it will not just be Britain’s relationship with Europe that will suffer, but the whole of the British working and lower middle classes.

  4. wonkotsane

    That’s not UKIP policy so why would you use it? If you can’t win an election without lying then you’re not a fit person to stand for election.

    1. Mike Sivier

      According to the Institute of Employment Rights, in May 2013, under the title What We Stand For, UKIP’s website stated: “UKIP would put an end to most legislation regarding matters such as weekly working hours, holidays … overtime, redundancy or sick pay etc.”
      Now, you could argue that it is no longer UKIP’s policy, but you would need to show us the announcement that UKIP has withdrawn it.

      1. wonkotsane

        As the contents of the poster have never been UKIP policy, it would be impossible to prove it was “no longer” UKIP policy. UKIP would end the senseless legislation that is tying small businesses up in red tape and costing jobs. Nowhere does it say that people wouldn’t get holidays or sick pay or protection from rogue employers.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I don’t know who you are. It’s better for me as a journalist to support my work with references that are easy for other people to look up for themselves.
        Also, if you ARE a UKIP councillor, are you sure that calling yourself wonkotsane, presumably after Wonko The Sane from Douglas Adams’ ‘So Long And Thanks For All The Fish’ – a person who lives in a house he calls the outside of the asylum (meaning the rest of the world is a loony bin), was a people-friendly and clever idea?

      3. wonkotsane

        I’ve been using the same nickname online for the last 20 years. As it happens it’s quite appropriate for politics, it often seems that the entire world has gone mad.

      4. Mike Sivier

        On that point, I am happy not to argue with you. There does seem to be a great deal of insanity in world politics lately, as right-wing neoliberalism – often under the pretence of libertarianism – has crept into legislatures across the globe.

      5. Barry Davies

        It is indeed better that people look up for themselves Mike which is why I posted the link to the UKIP page, not a page where a labour supporter has posted their version of ukip policies, I wonder which one will be more accurate regarding the policies the original or the fiction?

      6. Mike Sivier

        The ‘issues’ page to which you’re trying to send people is not the original page for UKIP policies, and features heavily edited ‘people-friendly’ snippets. The original page – – doesn’t seem to have anything on it any more, as its content was removed for fear of putting people off.
        That’s the fact of the matter.

      7. Barry Davies

        Obviously it is being updated because it was there when I posted the link, however the link to a labour site with a lash up pretend UKIP policy, the actual layout doesn’t match anything that UKIP actually present, is rather naughty if you wish to be objective. UKP post on not your link.

      8. Mike Sivier

        Now you’re just trying to go around in circle. You know perfectly well that I linked to a non-Labour site that referenced the relevant UKIP page (from when it was still available to be seen). You also know perfectly well that the same UKIP page was taken down when party members discovered that the policies on it were damaging to UKIP’s popularity. I know this also. You are trying to mislead others by pretending the policies quoted from the UKIP page were not UKIP policies.

    2. Rod Kipper

      The gist of UKIP’s 2010 manifesto would seem to be that worker have almost no rights. Of course Mr Bigot has distanced himself from all tat stuff. Still it is out there.

      1. Barry Davies

        Rod I checked the date it isn’t 2010, and Farage himself said that manifesto was junk, so why do you think it has any relevance whatsoever, is it just that you can’t find a genuine argument so you go looking in dustbins. maybe you post us the most up to date national manifesto for any of the other parties I think you will find them filed under junk.

      2. Barry Davies

        Well it is better than the ant kippers showing their teeth by posting a manifesto that was never used I hope you enjoy yourself while you are altering it for the normal fabrications that the racist europhiles adopt.

      3. Mike Sivier

        You can’t combat evidence of racism in UKIP simply by accusing the other parties and their supporters of the same thing, Barry – please try to keep your discourse out of the schoolyard. Racism in any UK political party is unwelcome.

      4. Barry Davies

        I can combat pure fabrications made by many posters UKIP has members from both genders and all ethnicities, just like every other party the difference is the europhile parties support a racist body which basically allows the mainly white previously free nationals to travel throughout its area, but the larger area outside are severely restricted, for a europhile to claim UKIP is racist is like someone trying to Claim that Diane Abbot is pro white people, UKIP is not never has been and will not be racist, so stop trying to make out that it is something it is not.

      5. Barry Davies

        Name them then if you are so certain of your claim you would be able to do it easily, otherwise stop referring to me as a racist, one persons attitude does not reflect on the whole party or its supporters it is the opinion on one person, other wise it would be calling the labour party racist because they support Dianne Abbot, the difference is that UKIP expels racists, now tell me what do the other parties do, they support their anti social members to the hilt, your falsifications have no basis for credence, and no matter how often you repeat it will not make it so.

      6. Barry Davies

        So you have irrefutable evidence to prove that do You mike or is it just going round in circles with you pretending that is the case, I know UKIP deals with racists it throws them out, the tories well look up the tory MP for Cannock, still in the party still an MP, or Dianne Abbot still and MP for Labour, so if you want to talk racist parties talk about them not one that deals with it. Your disgusting claim is nothing more than a fabrication.

      7. Barry Davies

        The media also repeatedly say scandal hit Stafford Hospital, currently ranked number 17 for care, they repeat the lie as Camoron did that people drank from flower vases although as they had all been removed before the incident, yes one, allegedly happened no one could have drunk from one. So to accept what the media report as fact is rather a dangerous stance to take, it is sensationalism to sell papers, much like the examiner used stuff like Elvis found on Mars headlines. You really need to research the truth not just accept propaganda Mike BTW eating carrots doesn’t help you see in the dark and that was all over the news at one time.

      8. Barry Davies

        So why did you sneak Godfrey Bloom who was thrown out for that tweet into the mix?, and why no other tweets so we can see the context in which is was posted, I know that people are desperate to smear UKIP and it could well be that Mr Perry actually posted those tweets, but out of context i.e. other posts there it doesn’t mean much. Perhaps as a balance you could have posted this as well and the bbc is not what you could call ukip friendly. Answers your question in full he was suspended pending investigation pretty normal behaviour in a nation that believes in innocent until proven guilty, or do you think no one is entitled to a fair hearing ?

      9. Mike Sivier

        Have you not even read ? It makes full reference to that very BBC story! I mentioned Godfrey Bloom because – as I indicated in my comment – he was a UKIP member at the time he made that statement. As far as context is concerned, if you really think that is going to get Harry Perry off the hook, then I think you are clutching at straws.
        I’m not sure how much longer I’m willing to let this discussion continue, now. It seems clear that you are desperate to find any way possible to discredit any criticism of UKIP, including ignoring information that has been made available previously. Taking that into consideration, it seems likely I should call a halt before we start going around in circles.

  5. maxwell1957

    The UKIP manifesto makes for interesting reading. It is almost as interesting as the ‘election flyer’ that has been shoved through my letterbox.
    The thing that really interests me about the promises that these barmpots make is this… where will the money to fund all the grandiloquent Ruritarian schemes come from? The Tooth Fairy? Perhaps they have a plan to impose a levy on all Brobdingnagians who enter the country. And, of course, impose a ” Supertax ” on all Lilliputians already resident.

      1. Mike Sivier

        You can’t combat evidence of racism in UKIP simply by accusing the other parties and their supporters of the same thing, Barry – please try to keep your discourse out of the schoolyard. Racism in any UK political party is unwelcome.

      2. Barry Davies

        You seem to think that just claiming UKIP is racist makes it racist, you also think that by repeating this pure lie means that the other parties are not, you are combatting the racism of your party by accusing UKIP of being racist so perhaps you should adopt the principle that I already do which is to point out that UKIP deals with racists it finds in the party by expelling them, what does your party do, it supports them.

      3. Mike Sivier

        Aaand we’re back in the playground again: “My gang’s not racist – yours is!”
        Today’s UKIP racist – Harry Perry, has only been suspended – not expelled.
        UKIP is riddled with racists, Barry.

      4. Barry Davies

        Clearly Maxwell you didn’t read the flyer, or pay attention to it, you just remained misguided with an incorrect misconception, and then have posted that misconception on here.

      5. Barry Davies

        and still your repeat a lie UKIP is not riddled with racists whatsoever UKIP does not support racists, it isn’t the tory party or the labour party, UKIP deals with them and you suspend people whilst they are under investigation or do you think that UKIP should adopt a guilty because an allegation has been made approach?

      6. maxwell1957

        I can’t be bothered to answer the stupid assertions made by the likes of Barry Davies.
        Anyone who chooses to use denigration as the tool of first choice in a conversation or debate has failed and is best ignored.

      7. Barry Davies

        Maxwell you made the claim that you had a flyer which made ridiculous claims about now the flyer had nothing about ruritania or lilliput indeed nothing like you described whatsoever, so perhaps you can tell us exactly what it did have on it. The phrase Only UKIP will take back control with the three musketeers all looking miserable out of the window. It did of course mention Vivianne Redding, unelected overpaid commissioner, making the comment that we had to have a United States of Europe, and the benefits we would get with freedom from the overbearing regulations which are damaging our nation coming direct from the likes of Redding.

  6. Barry Davies

    One person makes UKIP racists? so by your reckoning labour is riddled with racists because Diane Abbot is still a member of the party conservatives are riddled with racists because Aiden Burley is still a member of the party and MP the difference ids when UKIP become aware of them the act on the information. The local party has deselected Burley, not the head office BTW and yet the labour party ignore Tweets entirely it would seem. Would you still demand that UKIP sack people when a complaint is made, or behave according to common law in giving the person a chance to answer the accusation first knowing that the old parties do not act until forced to?

    1. Mike Sivier

      I haven’t asked for anybody to be sacked – I just commented on what did happen to them.
      As for “one person” making UKIP riddled with racists, of course that would be silly. Harry Perry is one in a long line of UKIP members found to have made racists comments or to have been connected with dodgy organisations. The Independent mentions a few in this article:

      “William Henwood, a Ukip candidate for Enfield, who got the ball rolling on Tuesday by saying that Lenny Henry should “emigrate to a black country”.

      “Or the Lewisham candidate Matt Pavey, who said that the murder of Stephen Lawrence gained too much media attention.

      “There was also David Wycherley, who described Mo Farah as “African”, and Gary Port who had “liked” the BNP on Facebook.”

      And let’s not forget Godfrey Bloom, who was a member of UKIP when he made his now-infamous “Bongo Bongo Land” comments.

      Then there’s the homophobia. Take a look at the comments of people in this Mirror report:

      This is only a representative sample of your party’s members, Barry.

      I repeat: UKIP is riddled with racists, Barry.

      1. Barry Davies

        So tell me again how many racists exactly are there in UKIP, and conservatives and labour and lib sum and green and Plaid Cymru and SNP and Ulster unionist and sinh fein. How many have been investigated let alone thrown out? The indie and the mirror are hardly what you would call even handed when it comes to politics are they a bit like you are picking on one party, rather than politicians as a whole, perhaps we can call labour a racist party because they are more than well aware of Diane Abbots racist tweets and not even a squeak. What do you prefer a party that weeds out its bad apples or one that supports them fully like labour does?

      2. Mike Sivier

        You keep making these claims about Labour; don’t you know that if the right-wing press could dig up any dirt on Labour, it would? Do you remember the fuss in the Daily Mail about Harriet Harman having links to a paedophile group, that was released in order to mask the news that a Downing Street aide had been arrested for looking at indecent photographs of children? Do you remember how quickly that went away when it was shown that the allegation was unfounded and there was a real story elsewhere?
        You know perfectly well it is ridiculous for you to demand that I tell you how many racists are in the political parties; you weaken your position by doing so. Similarly, you weaken your position by attacking the integrity of the newspapers I mentioned. I quoted them because they listed other members of UKIP who have acted questionably but the story was covered by all of the nationals (or such a large majority that it makes no difference. Fire up a search engine and see for yourself – I’m only reporting what’s going on.
        As for Diane Abbott, you’ll know that her behaviour was investigated. You might not like the result but that’s your business, not hers, and nothing of any interest to the Labour Party.
        You have been back to this question of racists in the other parties several times, now. I think it’s time I called an end to this.

        Your claims are not valid. Any further discussion will be a waste of time.

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