Archive for September, 2010

Labour Leadership Election

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

With just over 3 hours until the new leader of the Labour Party is revealed it’s time for a little media analysis of the imagery used to represent the candidates to the electorate. First we have the group shot.

Labour leadership candidates

Looking like a collective of office drones on an awayday to the ‘Getting results from your Ringbinders in the 21st Century’ conference they gaze out uninspiringly. Burnham and Miliband, D protecting their parts, Diane glowing mumsily, Ed Balls not protecting his and Ed Miliband like a newly promoted office junior edging into the shot apologetically. This is supposed to be Labour projecting potential future prime ministers for us to choose from. Right.

Next, Labour decide to go all reportage and do a monochrome Power Slideshow of the candidates on the front page of their website as the nailbiting countdown to the Leadership Election result progresses (5 month countdown – gawd). So, rather than commission some suitably grave looking photographs (the nation and the party are in crisis remember) they decide to go Raw with a selection of bizarre portraits that send  enough mixed messages to be worthy of the Kenwood Chef Award.

Diane Abbot Here’s Diane looking like the love child of Lorraine Kelly, Dawn French and Lenny Henry. Sorry Diane, this is not saying ‘Prime Minister Diane Abbott’. Why did you let them use this photo? Have you not heard of Image Management Diane? Er, oh yes, you sent your son to a private school.
David Milliband David Miliband squinting into the future. It’s so bright he can barely open his eyes wide enough to look at it. From the Paddy Ashdown Book of Action Man Poses, DM is in need of a decent haircut, a jacket, a properly tied tie and some sedatives to cure him of that wild eyed Tigger thing he does when interviewed. Bright, smiley and ever so slightly Tonyblair, he somehow seems as mad as TB but not nearly as convincing. Or maybe we’re now just wise after being involved in World War 3 since electing the Toothsome One three times in a row. If DM gets the job, I’m officially worried.
Ed Milliband Doh! Godhelpus. I can only guess that David’s henchpeople chose this one. Never has such a dorky brainless looking photo been used to ‘promote’ a politician. Sure, there are plenty of off-guard shots used to make people like Bush Jr look even more stupid than they are (is that possible?) but here we have a supposedly serious political party supposedly showing off one of its brightest and best. At the time of writing Ed is favourite to win. If he does I hope he gets revenge on whoever published this. Truly moronic. And the Picture Editor is not too clever either.
Ed Balls Sweaty forehead, called Mr Balls, close friend of Gordon Brown. Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Others employ someone who knows how to use Photoshop. No chance.
Andy Burnham Of all the shots, this one is probably the best in terms of projecting some kind of vision and authority. Which is what you want from a political leader. Andy Burnham, when interviewed, always seems too young to be taken seriously yet somehow too old to be thought of as a youthful leader; which is what the Nation seems to want these days. Maybe it’s his northern accent. However, he’s probably the most photogenic of the five (the eyes convey just enough vulnerable twinkliness to endear him to the X Factor Generation) and this photo does a good job of making him look dynamic and friendly, yet with just enough crows-feet gravitas to come across as PM material. All of which serves no purpose whatsoever as a Miliband is going to win. Sigh. I blame Thatcher.

Papal visit 1

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Papal visit: Historic agreement.


Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Pope on a rope

Another blow to my Pre-Papal-Vist-Prep is the news that Pope on a rope is ‘no longer available’ – drat.  With what am I now to cleanse my sinful soul and wash away unwanted  evil?  Maybe I’ll need to put in a special order for a bulk pack of Ratzinger.