The Labour party's latest political broadcast has raised a few eyebrows this week, and not just from its usual detractors. Members within the party have also been critical of the four minute black and white film, with one former Labour minister calling it "crass"
A spoof of the 1957 film The Incredible Shrinking Man, it shows Nick Clegg gradually getting smaller and smaller as he's forced to break more and more of his party's election promises during a cabinet meeting.
As well as drilling down on Clegg's image as a flip-flopper, Labour manage to squeeze in a string of classic anti-Tory jibes. All speaking in Etonian drawls (“Oh Claggers”, they say to the despairing Deputy PM), the Conservative members of the cabinet don't know what the letters in NHS stand for, and don't care that two-thirds of those affected by the Bedroom Tax are disabled (“they won't be able to fight back” one of them says).
Unsurprisingly the response from the right has been scathing - but it hasn't gone down well on the left, either.
As The Mail reported today, Mark Ferguson, editor of the influential site LabourList, has said it lacks a “positive agenda”, while The Guardian's Owen Jones has called it “a classic example of politics with the hope stripped away”.
It's bad, but is it really the worst political broadcast of all time? Labour isn't alone: all parties have had their fair share of clangers. Here are our top five worst political broadcasts:
BNP: Banned 2014 Broadcast (2014)
There's not much you can say about this really. Nick Griffin's band of merry racists cried foul when it was banned from airing, but this raises a serious question: have they actually watched it? It's not just "un-PC", but completely insane (and of course racist, but what do you expect). I mean - a penguin in a Burka? Come on, Nick - you can try harder than that.
Conservatives: Crisis? What Crisis? (1979)
Margaret Thatcher was clearly onto a winner when she ran for election in 1979, although whether it was this strangely repetitive broadcast that sealed the deal seems unlikely. "Crisis? What Crisis?", an increasingly shrill voiceover asks, before becoming almost hysterical. The court scene might have also seemed like a good idea at the time, but when it comes to being incredibly dated, it's guilty as charged.
Liberal Democrats: Say Goodbye (2010)
I wasn't actually able to embed this from the official Lib Dem YouTube channel - given how it completely shows poor old Cleggers up, I wonder why. When it was first broadcast many of us thought Clegg was onto a winner, and that he was an honest outsider. But now it's more likely we will be seeing it replayed by Labour come May 2015. It serves as a painful reminder of how dangerous it is to make such big promises as a politician, especially when you're calling others out for breaking them.
Green - More Green Votes (2014)
As you might expect from a party that has a lot of support from young and liberal media-types, the Green's latest EU election broadcast is a well-produced and thought-out effort. But is it really as funny as it thinks it is? What's the point of hiring actors who sound like Clegg and Farage when they look nothing like them? It seems like it would have been better suited to radio. And the big TV studio reveal - could it be any more smug and self-conscious?
Think we've missed one? Let us know in the comments below...Reuse content