Monday, April 07, 2008

A picture is worth...

A Conservative poster from 1909.

The Archbishop Cramner, compares the modern Tory poster rather unfavourably with the more adventurous and striking posters of yester-year. My particular favourite is to the left, and is one of a number reported in The Daily Mail.
With one foot stamping on the Union Jack, the sinister beast launches itself at the virtuous maiden. Hairy arms outstretched, the demon of socialism throttles the pure and upright Britannia, her belt of prosperity providing her with no protection from this monster's onslaught.

Much as it might resemble some lurid advertisement for a B-grade British horror movie, this strident image is in fact an election poster issued by the Conservative Party in 1909.

It is one of dozens from the early 20th Century released from the Bodleian Library's archive, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Indeed. Many of the other posters are well worth seeing; they are bold and strike home with serious messages. His Grace seems to agree with the view of Dan Hannan MEP, that these days we use unexceptional images and prose.
At the time, I thought this the ultimate sacrifice. “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his wife for his friends.”

But, looking at the bumph that has just come through my letterbox, I see that Boris is having to do something even more painful. He is having to write in cliché.

The greatest journalistic phrase-maker of our age, a man with a Shakespearean eye for a fresh image, is forcing himself to use the pedestrian idiom of the jobbing hack.


Whilst this is probably true—our use of English, the finest and most flexible language in the world, has been rendered unexceptional by the poor standard of education, the paucity of reading and the relentless pandering to the common demnominator of the largest parts of our media—I think that the real reason that the Tories are unable to use such stark images as those released by the Bodleian is simply that their message is not strong enough to be represented so starkly.

Ultimately, all that the big three parties offer us, these days, are different degrees of socialism: how could the Tories possibly produce a poster like that above when they are, in any case, socialist?

Which is why, of course, we thought that it was time to form a non-socialist party...

UPDATE: via the Taxpayers' Alliance, here's another good one.

13 comments:

assegai mike said...

Rather an appropriate (and literally accurate) poster in the week that Britannia was finally excluded from coin of the Realm under Brown's Socialist administration.

knirirr said...

An excellent poster, although one wonders why Britannia doesn't give the socialist a jolly good stuffing with that trident.

Cranmer said...

His Grace is so depressed by all of this inane blandness that he has had a few glasses of red and is going early to bed.

UKIP Bournemouth said...

We've done something similar with a flyer that is being delivered as we speak:
http://www.westbournemouthukip.com/rimages/splash10.jpg

John Trenchard said...

that poster is fucking bad ass...

isnt it amazing how our ancestors thought in such bad ass terms.


nowadays we get "oooh we gotta be greeeeeeen... oooooh"


fuck off... whgere oh where is our churchill?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Cool. Looking back, the Labour Party was still very small, the State only took about 10% of GDP in taxes, how did they know what a monstrosity socialism would be?

Separate question - were Tory MPs in favour of going in to The Great War, the least liberal war ever fought?

Longrider said...

Separate question - were Tory MPs in favour of going in to The Great War, the least liberal war ever fought?

In all probability had the Tories been in power, the outcome would have been the same - Belgium was our ally and had been invaded when the Germans put the schlieffen plan into action. And, of course, the Entente Cordiale pretty much guaranteed our entry once France was attacked.

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Devil - instead of the libertarian moniker wouldn't it make far more sense (and be far more honest) to adopt a name like the Solipsistic-bubble party, or the 'I'm alright Jacks' ?

You put me in mind of certain doctors, obviously very clever but prone to inexplicable lapses in logic.
For example, you (and your impressionable cohorts) deride socialism - yet we haven't had a socialist government in my lifetime.

You know s well as I do that there is essentially one political class which undulates anxiously left a bit and then right, but essentially most of them occupy the middle ground ?

Take Thatcher & Bliar, as far as I can tell they are both sociopaths who became far removed from ordinary life - they levied similar rates of income tax, yet Bliar was (initially) hailed as a socialist while the milk-snatcher was often portrayed as slightly to the right of Ghengis Khan.

Anonymous said...

impressionable cohorts- Yes we have made it a whole cohort !!

Guthrum

Roger Thornhill said...

A&E: "Devil - instead of the libertarian moniker wouldn't it make far more sense (and be far more honest) to adopt a name like the Solipsistic-bubble party, or the 'I'm alright Jacks' ?"

No, it would not be more honest, but downright misleading. But what are such trifles to a Socialist, eh? (Mis)Use of words to mislead is like mother's milk to them.

Roger Thornhill said...

p.s. from my experience the throttling Britannia is getting was to turn out to be only a presage to a more vile act...

Frank Fisher said...

Great poster - DK, get that on a t shirt would you old chap?

Anonymous said...

agree with frank above. we BADLY need these on t-shirts.

outstanding posters.