Socialist Worker

A corker of a budget bingo ad goes wrong for Tory toffs

Issue No. 2396

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Create your own (Pic: torybingo.com)


The post-Budget bingo poster blamed on not so poor Grant Shapps, the Tory chairman, was designed in the Treasury and signed off by bungling baron George Osborne. After the advertisement highlighting cuts to bingo tax and beer duty was issued it was dubbed a condescending public relations disaster.

George Osborne was enthusiastic about it. Under the headline “Bingo!”, the Tories said tax cuts were designed to “help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy”. The use of the word “they” was particularly inept and patronising because it wrongly implied that the Tory leadership sees itself as set apart from working class voters.

While the rest of the nation was glued to the screen to watch Gideon’s budget, a small team of staffers from Tory headquarters was allowed into the Treasury to work with the chancellor’s aides on devising political messages aimed at promoting the budget.

Keen to highlight the cuts in bingo tax and beer duty, they produced an advert aimed at “blue-collar” voters. 

Bless.

Tory MP Karl McCartney obviously wasn’t paying attention to the #ToryBingo. The Lincoln MP decided to parrot the out of date line. He tweeted, “V pleased about this for those who enjoy playing bingo, and those who enjoy beer!”

He then tweeted a picture of the cork from the 31 year old bottle of port he was glugging (pictured). Happy with his success on social media, the Tory MP joked with a colleague who compared the selection process for his female opponent to a lingerie modelling competition.

A Lincolnshire county councillor sent an image of women in lingerie to McCartney—asking whether it was “an actual photo” from the selection process for Labour candidate Lucy Rigby. 

When some complained McCartney barked that they lacked “a sense of humour” and needed to “get over themselves”.


Plenty of profit for privatisation pigs

Bills for energy, water and travel have soared since once-publicly owned firms were sold off by successive governments. And the High Pay Centre think tank says private investors and fat cat bosses have raked it in.

The average energy bill has risen 140 percent in the last ten years to £1,252, while household incomes have gone up by just 20 percent. The average water bill has jumped 74 percent while leakage rates are up by nearly 30 percent. 

And some rail fares have risen by as much as 200 percent. Investors who put money into nine of the sell-offs have had a 419 percent return. Meanwhile, Sam Laidlaw, boss of British Gas owner Centrica, received a near £5 million pay package in 2012-13.

And National Grid head Steve Holliday got £3.4 million in the same year.


No suits please, we’re Tory activists

An email to young activists in a marginal West London seat reveals the Tories are truly ordinary, sort of. It instructs, “please can I advise you not to wear a suit as we will be out and about with a photographer … There will be a photographer, so, no suits, no rosettes.”

Conspicuously sharp tailoring may impress in the circles Troublemaker moves in. But apparently it risks a mixed reception with those “hardworking people” in Brentford and Isleworth.


Unemployed people are lazy and that’s why they don’t have jobs, say the Tories. Unfortunately for them the facts keep getting in the way of their propaganda. Last week some 1,500 people in Shropshire queued for three hours outside Aldi after the firm advertised 40 jobs.


Labour—too clever by half

At last a Labour MP has hit on what is stopping the party winning support among ordinary people. It turns out that it isn’t the warmongering, the cosying up to big business or the anti-migrant racism that is putting people off.

No—it’s that the party is “too clever”. John Mann MP said Labour leader Ed Miliband needs to be “clearer” about his message and stop using clever “nuanced messages”.

The “clearer” message he was referring to? Mann said Labour should “say what cuts we would make”. Maybe it’s the message that is the problem, not the language.


36% public sector pay rise

Cabinet ministers have given personal staff huge pay hikes while restricting public sector workers to below-inflation rises. The special adviser to Iain Duncan Smith received a 36 percent rise. Philippa Stroud’s pay went from £69,250 to £94,000.

David Cameron’s chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, got a hefty 12 percent increase from £125,000 to £140,000. And home secretary Theresa May’s aides Fiona Cunningham and Nick Timothy enjoyed 14 percent rises.


It seems that demonising Roma people isn’t “edgy” enough for Channel 4 these days. So it has paid a Holocaust denier £3,000 in its tedious quest to appear controversial. Bosses paid the cash to David Irving for a lock of Nazi Adolf Hitler’s hair. 

It plans to have DNA tests carried out on it for a new TV show, Dead Famous DNA. Some 11 million people died in the Holocaust, including six million Jewish people. But why let that get in the way of producing “edgy” shows?


The cops are paying £100 a time to change a light bulb. London’s Metropolitan Police admitted that it pays a maintenance contractor the cash in “urgent” cases. For a standard light bulb changing, the fee is a bargain £26. 

The police source for the story admitted that changing a bulb is “not usually” very complicated.


GOING UP

MPs’ claims for rent are rounded up to the nearest £100. They can claim £20,100.

GOING DOWN

The Nazi British National Party’s membership has dropped by 61 percent since the last election.


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 25 Mar 2014, 17:43 GMT
Issue No. 2396
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