Driven by data; ridden with liberty.
(Video: Liberal Democrats)
On the second exit, go down Metaphor Way. Led by a sat-nav, the Liberal Democrats may have reached their final destination in this party election broadcast. The film’s theme is that the Liberal Democrats are a moderating influence on the two major parties, so voters should ‘Look Left, Look Right, then Cross’ Liberal Democrats.
After the sat-nav says ‘turn right’, the voice-over replies:
The Tories only care about the wealthy. The rich are getting richer, whilst services like the NHS suffer.
The National Health Service budget, in England, was protected by the coalition government. In the UK, health spending has increased in real terms over the course of the parliament. However, these increases have been neither large nor consistent.
Conservatives would contest that they “only care about the wealthy”. Furthermore, it is strange to claim that the NHS has suffered under this government, of which the Liberal Democrats were part.
After being asked to ‘turn left’, the voice-over says:
To what? A Labour government who’ll ruin my future job security.
It is not really explained how a Labour government would reduce our job security to rubble and ruination. The insinuation is left to the viewer.
“At the crossroads, it is up to you.” Whether this broadcast will drive any votes is yet to be seen.
Recalling the comedy series Monty Python, UKIP leader Nigel Farage states to the camera: “And now for something completely different.” What follows is a typical election broadcast, with the party leader telling us about their values and vision. Mr Farage recites:
The reason we call it the People’s Army is because it’s ordinary folks against the political class.
The film suggests that the UK Independence Party are “closer to the kind of conversations that go on in households up and down this country every single day”. In this address, Mr Farage asserts:
The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer.
It is a common claim, possibly due to its rhetorical symmetry. Looking between 2007-08 and 2012-13, data from the Office for National Statistics suggests otherwise:
The fall in income has been largest for the richest fifth of households (5.2%). In contrast, after accounting for inflation and household composition, the average income for the poorest fifth has grown over this period (3.5%).
The reduction of taxation on low incomes is welcome. UKIP will hope to grow their support at the General Election.