Thursday, February 17, 2011

Whatever the outcome, 'No 2 AV' now deserves to lose

If you've had a wander round the political blogosphere over the last 24 hours or so, you can't really have missed the new in-your-face advert from the No campaign in the AV referendum. It consists of a picture of a crying newborn baby, followed by the words -

"She needs a maternity unit NOT an alternative voting system. Say NO to spending £250 million on AV."

Now, even if that £250 million figure hadn't been plucked out of thin air (and it was), the words "risible" and "desperate" wouldn't even begin to do this ad justice. For me, all it does is bring home that these people simply haven't got an argument, and are incapable of making a case for the current electoral system on its own merits - or indeed even of making a case against AV on its own shortcomings. But will others (ie. the undecideds) react to the ad in the same way? After the occasional success of previous cynical and misleading campaigns that were similarly born out of desperation - such as the Tories' "Tax Bombshell" ads in 1992 - it's hard to be entirely confident.

But on one point there can be no remaining doubt. If it carries on in this vein, the No campaign thoroughly deserves to be routed in this referendum.


  1. The ad is all well and good, albeit Americanized shock and scare politics, but the diabolical hypocrisy of a govt that cries about lost maternity wards whilst enacting stinging legislation that will throw a hand grenade into that very same NHS is utterly staggering.

  2. Quite, and even if it was true that keeping the current voting system would save £250 million (which it isn't) I'm not sure where the basis is for believing that the money saved would be spent on maternity wards, rather than on, say, personal photographers for Cabinet ministers...

  3. From what I heard this morning it is not a maternity unit that they need, it is some midwives who are not overstretched by 50%.

    But I agree. If you are in the NO campaign surely there must be something good, somewhere, even if ever so slight, that you can find to say about FPTP.

    Clearly they can't.

    Well, as Francis Maude would say, "Golly, gosh".

  4. "No 2 AV now deserves to lose"

    I'll sort it, James.

  5. Good stuff, Ezio. Who needs the return of Wonderwoman?

    Tris, I've just caught up with the Maude video at your blog. The pictures are absolute genius!