Visibly reducing the appearance of Danny Alexander

So you can’t buy any Lego figures with your UKDivvie after all. Lego has written to the UK Government to tell them to remove all images of their product from the Treasury’s daft political adverts. The most iconic brand name from a successful independent northern European country of 5 million people does not want to be associated with a campaign to prevent another northern European country of 5 million people from becoming successful and independent too. Lego has complained to the UK Government that its figures were used without permission and without its knowledge, and their use runs contrary to the company’s policy of political neutrality. Lego has pointed out that they make toys for kids to help them learn through imagination and play, not political propaganda. The Treasury has difficulty seeing why this is a problem, since all the adverts were doing was playing political games with imaginary money.

Unlike real Lego adverts, the Treasury Lego adverts are paid for by the very people who are being advertised to. They’re taking your money, and spending it so they can persuade you to keep on giving them your money. You might say that’s exactly the same as real Lego adverts, which are funded by the profits made by the company which in turn come from people buying Lego. But at least Lego buyers get tiny plastic people who appeal to children in return for their money … Oh … I see what you mean …

Commercial advertising is legally prohibited from making claims which are untrue, which is why they’re so often hedged about with statements like “visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles” which is what you put in an advert when you want to say “reduces wrinkles” but the sciencey bit won’t back you up. “Visibly reduces the appearance of” doesn’t actually mean anything specific. You can visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles by putting a paper bag over your head. It’s a lot cheaper too. They could just as equally say “visibly reduces the appearance of Danny Alexander”, which would probably do much more to guarantee increased sales although it still wouldn’t get him off the telly talking pish about non-existent UKDividends. Mind you, in Danny’s case we’d all prefer the paper bag over his head. That’s a look that would definitely work for him.

But really unlike real Lego adverts, political adverts are not bound by the advertising standards code. They can say any auld bollocks that they like – as long as it’s not defamatory or incitement to commit a criminal offence. It doesn’t matter whether they’re produced by a Government department, a political party, or an astroturf campaign funded by rich Tories outside Scotland and designed by a marketing and branding specialist which was clueless about the market in question. Adverts produced by parties and campaigning groups during an election or referendum campaign are not regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority. You can complain to them all you like, but they’ll act like your appearance has been visibly reduced and you’ve got a paper bag over your head.

This is not actually a bad thing. We live in a democracy and it’s a fundamental human right to make a clown out of yourself in a public place. You can’t legislate against vanity and shortsightedness, and you can’t legislate against vain and shortsighted people voting. Or standing for office, as a quick perusal of most elected politicians will demonstrate. When you combine vanity, shortsightedness, and a whopping great dose of self-interest, you produce a situation where even theoretically intelligent people will come out with the most stupid of claims. Claims whose relationship to reality started off as tangential, before corkscrewing out of control into some fantasy land inhabited by people who say they believe in a federal Britain and are prepared to vote for a pig in a poke. Which brings us back to Danny.

Danny Alexander, and the rest of Project Fear, are under no obligation to tell the truth. And in a functioning democracy there can be no obligations put on them to tell the truth. Otherwise it threatens our own right to make clowns out of ourselves in public places. But the UK isn’t a functioning democracy because there’s no one doing the sciencey bit. A healthy media sector ought to be broadly representative of the society it serves. The media is supposed to investigate the claims made by political parties and campaign groups, to uncover inconsistencies and highlight falsehoods, and where it the media sector as a whole is representative of the entire population, that happens successfully. That’s the sciencey bit in political advertising. And it can even be done without resorting to made up words that you’ve trademarked.

But instead the traditional UK media is a campaigning group themselves. The problem arises because almost all the media outlets have the same stance. Positive news for the Yes campaign is sidelined or ignored, while there is little or no investigation into the inconsistencies and falsehoods of the No campaign. It’s perfectly fine for an individual publication to have a stance. Dante Alighieri said that the darkest places in Hell are reserved for those who stayed neutral during a time of moral crisis. Having a open and publicly stated stance is in many ways more honest than attempting to be neutral, whose only saving grace is that it’s more honest than pretending to be neutral. State broadcasters hadn’t been invented in Dante’s day, and he hadn’t considered the possibility that the darkest places in Hell might have a sub-basement with a BBC Scotland studio.

But on further investigation it wasn’t Dante who said that the darkest places were reserved for the neutral. It was JFK misquoting Dante. This is precisely the sort of investigative reporting that’s not being done in the UK media. Youshould always investigate what a politican tells you, even when it’s JFK or Barack Obama – never mind Danny with a paper bag over his heid. The only investigation the UK media likes to do is to investigate ways it can be spun into a blow for Alicsammin.

The missing check to the missing balance is the sheer impossibility of holding politicians to account. When they belong to the established UK parties, voting them out of office doesn’t work. They just get a seat in the Lords as a consolation prize. You’d imagine that after pissing off the electorate to the extent that the voters kick them out of office would mean it’s the voters who are in need of consolation, but in the UK it works the other way about. He’ll just become Baron Danny of Paper Bag.

Danny Alexander is so dumb even his imaginary friends want to play with other kids. Even Westminster’s imaginary Lego friends don’t want to play with them any more. And these are the people who want to make all the rules for the rest of us. These are the people who are quite happy with a media that doesn’t investigate their idiocies and ensure that’s all we get.

Let’s vote yes in September and take Danny’s toys away from him. It’s the scientifically guaranteed method of not only visibly reducing the appearance of Danny Alexander and the rest of the plastic figure princes and princesses of Westminster, but giving them them sack for good.


21 comments on “Visibly reducing the appearance of Danny Alexander

  1. diabloandco says:

    I was surprised to learn that political adverts were not bound by truth or the ASA.
    That had to be passed by some government or another.
    I’d put money on it being the same government that had a wee twiddle with the laws of treason ,but maybe I’m way off the mark.

  2. […] Visibly reducing the appearance of Danny Alexander. […]

  3. bjsalba says:

    Wee Danny managed to get himself in the Courier with a swipe at SNP and our national police service all in one (another blow for Alecsammin).

    Here is the quote:
    “It is hard to understand why the SNP and their new centralised police force are determined to have armed police routinely patrolling our streets,” he said. “In recent months we have seen local control room and front desk closures across the region while, at the same time, mounted units and firearm specialists are deployed. It’s not right and I want to see a return to community policing as soon as possible.”

    This is the article

    Mind you, the article is a prime example of what you were talking about as a press with an agenda.
    The article begins:
    “ALMOST 40,000 rifles and shotguns are in private hands across the Highlands and Islands, it has been revealed.”

    However the picture that accompanies it is of a Magnum handgun.
    I wonder if the gun company will complain about the misuse of their picture.

    The quotes are from Independent Councillors (Inverness is a party coalition SNP led council).

    From what I have seen round here, in the Inverness area, there have been calls from Landowners, Farmers and the RSPB to deal with illegal shooting in the countryside – birds, farm animals, cats etc. As I understand it that has been done in community policing in the Highlands and Islands from before the force went national.

    I wonder what the police think of this article.

    Somehow I don’t think I’m getting an accurate picture of what is going on. This kind of shoddy sensationalist journalism is the reason I don’t buy newspapers. Danny’s comments are a good reason never to vote Lib-Dem. From the slot they got in the Newark by-election, I think a lot of people agree with me.

    • Capella says:

      “Almost 40,000 guns”, I’m surprised it’s so low. Every Estate will have a number of gamekeepers and gillies, all with shotguns. Every farmer will have a gun to shoot rabbits and pests. Every TA unit will have members with guns, albeit locked in secure buildings (at least that’s the theory – Dunblane proved the exception). But if it gets Danny on the front page bashing the Nats then it’s worth while. Illustrates WGDs point about the press.

    • Helena Brown says:

      I do hope someone reminds Danny Alexander that this proliferation on armaments has happened on HIS watch. Last time I saw Alicsammin had enough of a problem getting air guns under the Scottish Parliament control far less proper guns.
      I have to say when I read it my first though was, we certainly have got a lot more police recruits than I though, then I got the gist.
      I have come to the opinion that the Ladies of the night could not lay a hand on the behaviour of the Lib Dems and you are right they got a proper doing from Newark, let us hope it continues.

  4. WRH2 says:

    The trouble is though when us evil cybernatty people take their irrational arguments and assertions to bits we are being abusive according to John Reid in the Herald. This seems to be the latest theme presumably because scaremongering isn’t working.

  5. Redrock says:

    Thanks for another entertaining piece on the twisted world that we currently have to inhabit. Your imagery and take on the situation drains the negative emotions from my soul and leaves a smile on my face.

  6. SCED300 says:

    I read that Better Together are going to get Satchi and Satchi to handle their campaign.

    • David Agnew says:

      Indeed they are. The group who gave us “labour isn’t working” and “Glasgow Smiles Better” – are going to push “NO is the new NAW” in some manner. Since they tend to opt for simplistic slogans, I am thinking: “Say Yes to NAW” – “NAW is BRAW” and “NAW isnae NAW”

      They are a group most closely linked to Thatcher, so you would think that it should blow a hole in the side of the No campaign. But as the article states, the MSM are asleep on the job, so it’ll get a free pass & maximum coverage.

      Prepare to have your brain shat in.

  7. The Rough Bounds says:

    ”Gosh Danny, you look quite good this morning; a real improvement. Have you had Botox or something?”
    ”Mumble, mumble…no…you’re looking at my arse. Pass the paper bag please.”

  8. […] Visibly reducing the appearance of Danny Alexander […]

  9. JGedd says:

    Thanks again, Paul, you made me laugh and I really wasn’t in the mood at the time.

    I am encouraged, though, by coming across various people commenting on the sites I visit, saying that they have come from a position of trust in the BBC to having no faith at all in their output. The BBC have managed to turn people against them by their own relentless bias in this campaign.

    I have been sceptical of the BBC for many years now though realized that others had continued to trust them. But it’s all to do with timing. My dawning recognition of BBC and media bias came at the time of the miners’ strike, the first Afghan war orchestrated by Brzezinski, then the Balkan War etc. All these events happening within a few years of each other and sometimes over-lapping had the BBC and others in news manipulation overdrive. If you weren’t alive at the time or too young to remember then, of course, you didn’t have the same experience.

    When the system demands it, these news organizations – who often swap personnel – step up several gears and the politically motivated take the driving wheel. Like now. Younger people are now waking up to the same old methods being used when the system feels threatened. This is their moment of truth when they see good old reliable Auntie’s mask has slipped because she’s all het up about the referendum, hasn’t bothered with the wrinkle cream and is revealed as a shrill old hag with very questionable habits and odious friends.

  10. Helena Brown says:

    Have to say Paul that a Lego model of Danny Alexander would be too frightening for the kids, have you seen his new hairdo, something out of some foppish Public School. I do hope he is due for a hair cut.
    Another entertaining and biting read, I do hope HE reads it.

  11. Used to be that if you were desperate for a news update on some crisis or big story you kept the radio on. Now most people go online. Newspapers were bought for in-depth insights. Now they are more or less redundant. We can access what is happening as it is happening from a large number of sources, and with an ever increasing number of views from those not hiding behind spin or newspaper owners.

    This referendum campaign would have been very different had we not had the internet and people such as Paul. They are the ones making history, changing our perceptions. Danny is whispering in a gale. In a years time he’ll be history.

  12. “Baron Danny of Paper Bag” made my day.

  13. jjake says:

    Saw desperate danny on tv last night. was he wearing a plastic whig (I know he is a plastic Whig).He looked like that Australian guy from years ago who did that wierd version of wonderwall.

  14. […] So you can't buy any Lego figures with your UKDivvie after all. Lego has written to the UK Government to tell them to remove all images of their product from the Treasury's daft political adverts. …  […]

  15. It’s getting the sack they’re afraid of Paul.
    Who else would want them?

  16. Thanks wee dug…information and entertainment in one blog..classic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s