End of the Party Political Broadcast? Episode 5: UKIPPosted: May 1, 2010
Hello! Today, we’re continuing with our explorative study of ‘fringe party’ Party Political Broadcasts, today focusing on UKIP. Despite the many negative allegations brought against the party, does their advertising redeem their supposedly tarnished reputation? Let’s find out.
What does it say about UKIP? A shot-by-shot analysis: The video starts with a shot of esteemed boxing manager Frank Maloney, who entreats us to listen to him “before we turn over”. Shots of Maloney in a boxing gym, assumingly ‘training’ kids and Asian fellows. Maloney stresses that UKIP is about ‘fairness’, and ‘straight talking’. The boxing makes me feel threatened. Maloney asks us to ‘keep listening’ if we want to get ‘out of the EU’ and ‘stop immigration’. Cut to UKIP leader Malcolm Pearson, talking about how UKIP members are unsatisfied with Britain’s membership of the EU. He goes on to explain that it is UKIP’s intention to end such a membership, while maintaining a free trade agreement with the EU. Shots of Pearson in his office, which I assume is also his home, while he narrates why leaving the EU is so important, because of saving Post Offices, and ‘maintaining our own treaties’. Cut back to shot of Pearson explaining how Britain only possesses 9% of the EU vote. Shot of Pearson enjoying a hot beverage in his garden. Cut back to Pearson talking, indirectly blaming economic crisis on EU membership. Close-up of Pearson, who informs us that UKIP will be elected by us, ‘the people’, to serve us, ‘the people’. Cut to shots of ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage, watching what appears to be recordings of people asking questions, on something that resembles a CCTV-type setup. Farage talks about how immigration is detrimental to the jobs market. Farage then explains how UKIP will implement a 5 year freeze on immigration if elected. Shot of a black man saying he wants to ‘know his streets are safe’. Farage informs viewers that they’ve gone “soft in the head”, and explains how we need to extend prison sentences, and build more prisons. Tax question from UKIP candidate potentially posing as member of public. Farage explains ‘flat-rate’ tax. Shot of woman asking why ‘other people’ should dictate what schools her children attend. Farage explains that ‘selective education’ would allow more people to go to University, from poorer backgrounds. Farage also explains that we shouldn’t “send everyone on” to university, and should encourage children to learn trades. Shot of woman stating that she wants to know that her ‘job is safe’. Farage explains that most jobs are offered from small and medium-sized businesses, which are limited by ‘EU red tape’. Farage also explains that scrapping National Insurance will promote economic growth. Shot of man stating he doesn’t want his children to pay for the mistakes made which led to the current economic crisis. Farage states that by cutting spending in the public sector “by about £50 billion in year one”, by getting rid of “wasteful government excess”. Man asks how UKIP will “influence policy”. Farage responds by explaining that “patriotism is not a dirty word”, and that his party only want to “put the British people first.” Farage asks viewers to “vote for the United Kingdom” by voting for UKIP. Cut to ident, which exclaims and promotes ‘Straight Talking’.
Opinion: UKIP seems to have incorporated many elements into its broadcast, including recruiting the services of alleged homophobe and racist Frank Maloney (at least according to Wikipedia, which is admittedly not the most reliable source), and featuring many ‘questions from the public’, which at least to me, is suspect. The Q&A segment of the broadcast opens with a black man, which I assume is an attempt to negate any racist connotations that viewers may affiliate with the party, and show the party as ‘mutually race friendly’. The party’s reputation is an issue throughout the broadcast, since Maloney even opens the video by urging the viewer not to ‘turn over’. It appears that even UKIP are aware of a rocky public reputation. From a stylistic point of view, the video seems somewhat amateur, and the shots of Pearson at home look clearly staged. I’d also question their relevance with regards to the video. I dislike the video’s, and especially Farrage’s aggression, openly telling viewers they have gone “soft in the head”, which in my experience is not a good way to convince anyone of anything. To their benefit, they do explain what they intend to achieve, and how they intend to achieve it, however flawed this explanation may be. Regretfully, their constant references to their tarnished reputation, and almost blatant acknowledgement that many people see the party as racist is greatly detrimental to the video’s power to influence. Why do they focus so heavily on their shortcomings, and negative party perceptions, when instead they could spend their limited time preaching positivity? Words fail me.
That’s it for today! On Monday we shall end our analysis of Party Political Broadcasts with the BNP’s recent effort, before drawing conclusions from all we’ve learned. Sorry for the delay, dear readers, but even I need a break sometimes! Watch this space.