Friday, November 24, 2006

The Tory Tossers

The latest gimmick to come out of Tory Central Office is The Tosser, the first in a series of campaigns designed to reach out to young people via (yet another) website, The Tosser features a young man going on a spending spree with credit cards and store cards, encouraged by a loud ‘geezer’ who turns out not to be a real person but the young man’s ‘inner tosser’. The message is: hey kids, you’ve got to be responsible and not run up lots of personal debt.

Even the Conservatives admit this is a slightly strange one. After all, they’re not saying that their policy in government would be to restrict personal debt. Oh no. They’re just giving us advice. ‘We know this isn’t what you might expect from a political party, but we’ve decided that rather than doing what political parties have always done - criticising each other and making promises about what they would do if they got elected – we’d like to try and make a difference now. Why should we wait until we’re in government to start changing things? That’s the idea behind To create an online home for a whole bunch of issues, with practical things that you can do to make a difference.’ Apparently, we can look forward to further ‘stuff’ from the website on racism and homelessness.

The tone is cringeingly patronising, desperate to be down-wiv-da-kids, and could have been lifted from Jamie Oliver. The Conservatives seem to be saying that they can’t change anything, only we can, and only at a personal level. However, maybe this is the perfect preparation for government. After all, New Labour has spent the last nine years providing endless advice (with the force of law behind much of it) about how to eat, drink, shag, bring up our kids and all the other minutiae of our previously private lives. The latest Tory offering simply takes this to its logical conclusion - why bother electing MPs when we can elect counsellors instead?



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