Honest Government Ad: Visit the UK! (2024 election)
December 17, 2023 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Campaigning against the tories isn't a hard sell after *waves arms* ALL THIS. You can campaign on a series of picture books any child can understand.

The prick that stole your birthday party
The idiots that sanctioned their own country
The moron that killed the queen
Why you can't afford to boil food anymore
Your grandad fought the nazis and so should you

posted by adept256 at 6:23 PM on December 17, 2023 [4 favorites]

I live on shit island, and there was sadly very little satire in that video, just reality.

From the inquiry about government covid policy: Dominic Cummings, former Chief (political) Adviser to Boris Johnson.
Q: You called cabinet ministers “useless fuckpigs”, “morons” and “cunts”. Were these views shared by others?
Cummings says his appalling language was his own. But those judgments were widespread, he says.
Further evidence to the inquiry very much bore that out.

The water companies have been paying out more than £2 billion a year in dividends to private shareholders, mostly funded by taking on debt. The interest payments for that (around £1.5 billion a year) are funded by billpayers, along with the cost of infrastructure. Meanwhile, they've been pumping vast amounts of raw sewage straight into the rivers and sea due to the ancient pipework's inability to cope with rain. Now they want to ram up bills even higher to pay for the upgrades that were supposed to paid for with all that debt, bill payer funds and government subsidies, but instead went straight to the handful of private funds that own most water companies in dividends.

Food and energy prices have soared, significantly higher than european neighbours. My energy bills are double what they were 3 years ago, and food budget around 30% higher despite making substantial cutbacks in what we buy.

Salaries of course haven't risen anything like in line with inflation for normal people; recently the headline rate has sneaked higher, but when you look into it that includes things like banker bonuses and massive CEO handouts, thus distorting it substantially.

And of course the usual tory slashing of funding for all public services that's been going on for 14 years; the NHS, education, public transport, benefits for the disabled and unemployed or low paid, the court system, along with savage cuts to local council funding which then impacts on social care for the elderly, care for children in welfare etc etc; they've cut so deeply to council funding that they're all starting to go bankrupt because they simply can't pay for all the things they're legally required to pay for, and there's expected to be a lot more next year.

All their efforts are going to trying to deport a handful of asylum seekers to Rwanda, which was judged illegal by the high court under multiple human rights legislation, because they have a nasty habit of just deporting asylum seekers back to their country of origin to be murdered. Not that there any legal routes for people to seek asylum in the UK any more unless from Ukraine or Hong Kong. And since they conflate small numbers of asylum seekers with larger numbers of legal immigrants coming in on student, family and work visas (which we need, due to a collapsing birth rate and total lack of investment in training by state or private sector, and overseas students prop up the decrepit university sector), they've just raised the minimum income needed for a British citizen to bring in their spouse to £38,700, along with an NHS surcharge and a pricy visa, meaning 3/4 of British citizens who marry a non-brit now cannot live together in the UK. (I would be in this boat myself, if my wife didn't already have indefinite leave).

The only other European country that also uses First Past The Post is Belarus, Russia's best buddy. It's a literally medieval system that effectively disenfranchies millions of voters (when they've not been literally disenfrachised by the new voter ID system) and it needs to Just Die.

Oh right, they did call The Right Honourable Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg (MP for the 18th century) a haunted dickensian lamp post, when everyone knows he's really a haunted victorian pencil. Very droll.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 7:01 PM on December 17, 2023 [27 favorites]

I hope we have to go through all of this crap because out of an infinite number of timelines, this is the only one where we survive. Otherwise it's hard to justify.
posted by krisjohn at 7:22 PM on December 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

It's astonishing to me that only 20 years ago, I was sitting in college over here in the US taking a world politics course, and the general thrust of things was that in the 10-15 years since the end of the cold war, global interconnectedness was bringing about an unheard of new era where war between "developed" nations was now unthinkable and international cooperation was something no state would be able to pull back from.

None of that rosy view of the future accounted for the avarice of the already rich, who were more than willing to fuck the world for even more.
posted by Ickster at 7:55 PM on December 17, 2023 [19 favorites]

Good luck Brit friends. I hope you overcome you're useless fuckpigs (and fuckpigs lite) and start to fix your problems. We've got our own fuckpigs. to deal with.
posted by evilDoug at 8:01 PM on December 17, 2023 [2 favorites]

These ads don't pull punches, which is excellent.
I live in Vancouver, I was born in British Columbia in the 1960s, and adult life for me, in part, has been a long, slow peeling off of all the official lies we were taught about Canada.
I mention this because there is an Honest Government Ad for Canada which is primarily centred on resource extraction and pipelines going through British Columbia.
The things I hear, and have heard, about England are truly horrible, which this ad focuses on, and as a former colony of m England that still exists as a colony, though are masters are corporate now, I fear this is where we are rapidly heading as well as country. And, if Pierre Poilievre happens to win the next federal, election the process will be accelerated.
All my best to the people of England, what a shitshow the vile velcro fingered Tories have been.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:09 PM on December 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

Mefi Brits: just how much of a difference has the kind of tactical voting that this ad recommends actually made in recent memory?
posted by flabdablet at 9:33 PM on December 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

As I have said before, and which I will relentlessly repeat as often as I can regardless of what any of you may want:

...everything is just getting so much worse so much faster than I ever expected.

I thought I had planned for the worst-case scenarios. I was very much, very extremely, wrong about that.
posted by aramaic at 11:47 PM on December 17, 2023 [6 favorites]

Omnishambles isn't a strong enough term to described the national situation anymore.

It's telling that the approach here is "stop the Tories" not "elect Labour". This should be the biggest and easiest victory Labour has ever pulled but Starmer is just utterly feckless and I do not know a single leftie who doesn't have to hold their nose to vote for Labour. Utterly ridiculous.

Mefi Brits: just how much of a difference has the kind of tactical voting that this ad recommends actually made in recent memory?

The site has a few examples where it would have made a difference: https://tacticalvote.co.uk/what-is-tactical-voting/
posted by slimepuppy at 1:28 AM on December 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

These are quite funny and biting.

On a side note, I was really impressed by the fact that the presenter in both the UK and Canada one seem to my (very accent insensitive) ears to be utterly nailing the accents. Then I noticed that the audio and the mouths don't seem perfectly synced. How are they doing this? Dubbing? AI? Or is it just Australian accent-magic?
posted by Alex404 at 1:43 AM on December 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Good luck Brit friends. I hope you overcome you're useless fuckpigs (and fuckpigs lite) and start to fix your problems. We've got our own fuckpigs. to deal with.

I was going to say 'Trump is for four years, but Brexit is forever'. That was true last time round. This time round I don't think it's going to be.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 1:56 AM on December 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

The site has a few examples where it would have made a difference: https://tacticalvote.co.uk/what-is-tactical-voting/

It has examples where it would have made a difference, but didn't, because people didn't do it. In Britain in my experience people are far keener to vote tactically during by-elections, but for whatever reason are less keen in general elections.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 2:04 AM on December 18, 2023

the audio and the mouths don't seem perfectly synced

The Juice Media team includes a voiceover artist, Lucy Cahill, who doesn't usually appear on screen.

To my ear, she's better at non-Australian accents than most non-Australian actors are at ours.
posted by flabdablet at 2:06 AM on December 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

As a Canadian the bit about being given the opportunity to choose between the Tories and the Tories-lite in FPTP elections really hit home, although of course over here we have a third vaguely left-lite party to dilute the voting power of anyone left of Doug Ford.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:08 AM on December 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

Mefi Brits: just how much of a difference has the kind of tactical voting that this ad recommends actually made in recent memory?

Tactical voting has had a significant impact in recent byelections, evicting several tory MPs. It also was a factor in Labour's 1997 general election landslide - several high profile tories were removed due to Lib Dem voters lending their vote to labour in key marginals. Scotland has its own thing going on with the Scottish National Party and Labour, but I don't know enough about the politics there, so I'll mostly stick to england - the size of which mostly decides UK-wide elections.

Most MP seats are safe seats where one party utterly dominates; outside of major political earthquakes, they don't change hands. So most politics revolves around key marginals, seats that can flip due to swing voters.

Tactical voting is thus a significant reason why the tory party is as it is. Basically, you have the right wing demagogue Nigel Farage - think Marine Le Pen, or Geert Wilders - though he's never been an MP, but his UKIP party won the EU parliament elections in 2014, and took 12.5% of the vote in the 2015 general election, but won only one seat. (under PR, they would have been the 3rd largest party in the UK, instead of the SNP)

Going into the 2015 election, the tories were a minority government, with an alliance with the lib dems, a pro-EU, somewhat centre-right minor party. In 2015, because UKIP didn't field candidates in a number of key tory marginals (supposedly because PM Cameron did a deal with Farage and his own anti-EU MPs to hold the brexit referendum), and the collapse in the lib dem vote due to being punished for going back on their pre-election promises after going into coalition, the tories narrowly won the election outright, and Cameron went ahead and held the referendum on leaving the EU, while campaigning for staying in - and lost, partly because people were pissed off with the tories, and partly to a lot of poisonous anti-immigrant media. Cameron quit rather than do the hard work of actually planning how to leave (he'd assumed he'd win, and UKIP and the anti-EU wing of his party would be quashed). Theresa May was struggling with her own robotic persona, lack of ideas and a split party to try and come up with a plan for Brexit, so held another election in 2017, expecting a bigger majority, as labour was now lead by Corbyn - a veteran left winger and popular in the Labour party membership, but less so with the general public after a successful media monstering (the UK newspapers are relentlessly right wing) along with some questionable decisions in the past and a whiff of anti-semitism.

May won their highest share of the vote for 30 years, but actually lost seats and became a minority government. Labour improved on their 2015 results, but still were significantly behind. The lib dems and UKIP effectively disappeared as political parties, and the SNP lost a number of seats, returning to the more common two-party politics. May held on with a partial coalition with the dinosaurs of Northern Ireland, the DUP, which made the Brexit negotiations even more tricky; they wanted to return to partition in NI, which nobody else did, but either they or pro-EU tory rebels blocked all attempts to finalise a Brexit deal.

2 more years of deadlock, then that lead us to where we are today. Boris Johnson took over the tories and held a GE in 2019 with a promise to 'get Brexit done', by purging all the centrist, pro-EU rebels. Corbyn was now definitely unpopular with the public at large having been painted as a new-age Marxist (not that he made it hard), and the tories won a crushing landslide with Labour dropping to their lowest number of MPs since 1935 - a number of Leave-voting former safe labour seats switched. Boris used that majority to ram through hard Brexit and effectively leave NI as part of the EU (much to the dismay of May's allies, the DUP), but since he'd purged the party of many of its political heavyweights, he was left with the fuckpigs, morons and swivel eyed loons that previously would have ended up in UKIP, as well as himself being a despicable piece of shit who constantly lied. He was also a notoriously indecisive man, which cost us very, very heavily with Covid. After one lie too many, he was ejected by his own party and there was the thick-as-shit Liz Truss, who lasted all of 45 days in office after nearly crashing the economy and sent mortgages soaring, and the current Sunak, a thin-skinned rich narcisisst who frankly, everybody hates.

So anyway. Tactical voting was a big thing in 2015, with back-room deals to avoid it on the right which ultimately led to Brexit and the current shitshow. The lib dems have managed to recover somewhat after their nadir of 2017, and look poised to take back a swathe of their old seats they lost to the tories and then some - while going direct from tory voter to labour voter is a big stretch (memories of Corbyn are still pretty fresh) for some, switching to the lib dems in even relatively small numbers in swing seats can be enough to knock out a number of tories; which Labour officially don't support, but still quietly aren't campaigning much in lib dem potential gains, while the lib dems do the same in labour targeted seats.

Labour are explicitly not the Corbyn party any more, while Starmer is pretty unpopular with the left wing of his own party, and promising not to change a number of tory policies; hence the fuckpig-lite label. How much of this is tactical positioning to regain the fairly right-wing leave-voting former labour seats, and how much he really is a pre-2019 tory in Labour clothing remains to be seen should Labour win the 2024 election, but safe to say, nobody is much enthused about voting for him; but he is at least, less electoral poison than Corbyn, and the tories are utterly loathed by many now. The tories of course have doubled down on the anti-immigrant populism, while accelerating asset stripping the country to benefit the wealthiest.

Whoever wins, they're going to be facing a real crisis with public services such as the NHS totally on their knees due to underfunding and staff shortages, pissed off workers with salaries fallen way behind the rising cost of living, rocketing homelessness due to fast-rising rents and mortgages (a legacy of Truss, and high interest rates), literally swimming in our own shit, and millions having to choose between heating and eating this winter.

And yet, the tories still have something like 25% in polls, because it appears there really are that many racists and people who, despite all evidence, are convinced the tories are better for them economically than Labour, so tactical voting will probably matter in swinging a number of seats that the tories might manage to hang onto otherwise - people are getting quite used to voting for the best-placed non-tory regardless of their actual affiliation, while UKIPs replacement Reform Party right now are nowhere much, as the tories effectively ARE the UKIP party in all but name.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 4:48 AM on December 18, 2023 [14 favorites]

In addition to everything Absolutely No You-Know-What expertly summarised above, the Tories are missing a leader to put forward for the election. Rishi wants to remain PM but he was practically no one's first pick this go around and nothing has happened during his tenure that would (to my mind) change that.

Boris Johnson, like Trump, got headlines and won people over with his cultivated and condescending bumbling everyman persona. They don't have another personality like that in the wings. Rishi so clearly doesn't believe in anything except the free market and that's not exactly winning the people over when the economy is fucked and people have to pick between heating and eating.

The state of the media in this country also cannot be overstated. I've seen theories that Starmer's comments around being pro-business and positioning Labour as Diet Tory is all about appeasing the billionaires who run the media and indicating that Labour is willing to play ball with them and their corporate interests.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:36 AM on December 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

EU person here: it's hard to have a feeling of what the situation is from the outside. I used to travel to the UK regularly (business) but haven't been back since Brexit (you can guess why) ... Is it that bad? Is the feeling that Brexit caused it or is it much more than that? I mean, it's not all good news in the rest of the EU either with a full scale war on our border and all.

Is there any serious discussion of joining the EU again or is it too soon — or simply generally accepted as a permanent decision?

In either case, personally, I quite miss having the UK in the EU and I would love to see, in a few years, a double enlargement: UK+UKR.
posted by UN at 5:44 AM on December 18, 2023

What was the reference to straight bananas all about?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:40 AM on December 18, 2023

What was the reference to straight bananas all about?

One of the most infamous Euromyths. And oh, look, it wasn't a problem after all.
posted by rory at 6:49 AM on December 18, 2023 [5 favorites]

I went to Dickens Fair and there was a song about how you just can't find a straight banana.

This is savagely delightful to watch.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:50 AM on December 18, 2023

What is?
posted by Grangousier at 6:55 AM on December 18, 2023

Is it that bad?

That's a tricky question. You can still buy food and consumer goods (although some once-familiar imports have disappeared), but a lot of small businesses relying on exports to the EU have gone under. Much of the bureaucratic impact is invisible to most people, but it's feeding into inflation and the general difficulty in doing things that used to be straightforward. Opportunities for young people in the UK to broaden their horizons in the EU via study or seasonal work have been curtailed. Musicians touring in both directions have been badly affected.

Is the feeling that Brexit caused it or is it much more than that?

Depends who you ask. Since late last year a solid majority in polls have said that Britain was wrong to vote to leave, but the impacts of the pandemic and the Ukraine War have muddied the waters enough that Brexit defenders can say the current mess is nothing to do with their baby. The idea that there can be multiplier effects seems to have escaped them.

Is there any serious discussion of joining the EU again or is it too soon — or simply generally accepted as a permanent decision?

Not by the political class yet, but the majority of voters want to start winding it back:

YouGov polling showed that 57% of Britons would now support joining the single market even if that meant the resumption of the free movement of people, a policy which led to millions of families and workers moving to Britain during the country's membership. One in five people opposed it.
posted by rory at 7:28 AM on December 18, 2023 [8 favorites]

A specific question about the video: do Brits use the term "munted"? I've only heard it in NZ, and I was surprised to hear it here.
posted by rednikki at 7:32 AM on December 18, 2023

A specific question about the video: do Brits use the term "munted"?

No. The clip's Oz origins betray themselves in a few ways, including her attempted English accent (not terrible, but about as convincing as English people's attempts to do Australian accents).
posted by rory at 7:36 AM on December 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

What is?

The video in the link, with all the cussing and insults. It was delightful.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:47 AM on December 18, 2023

To my ear, she's better at non-Australian accents than most non-Australian actors are at ours.

I thought it was just the usual Oz accent of these Juice clips at first, and didn't even realise she was attempting an English accent until a good way into the clip... the way she says "iconic" and "Penistone" within the first few seconds establish it as an Oz actor immediately. It's the vowels. And that's even allowing for an English person saying it as "penis-tone" for the joke, rather than "pennus-tun".

(Sorry to be a party-pooper... all my years of listening to the Beeb have ruined my "Aussies do a good British accent" preconceptions. Yeah, nah.)
posted by rory at 8:04 AM on December 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Is there any serious discussion of joining the EU again or is it too soon — or simply generally accepted as a permanent decision?

It's too soon. I think that it's accepted as a 10 or 20 years plus decision.

Mefi Brits: just how much of a difference has the kind of tactical voting that this ad recommends actually made in recent memory?

As others have said, tactical voting makes a difference. While there are only two parties capable of forming a government nationally, there are more parties that can win individual seats. This means that it's not at all unusual for third party votes to risk splitting the ballot in a constituency and real possibilities for tactical voting.
posted by plonkee at 8:26 AM on December 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

The UK is still doing well enough it's honest tourism ads can't match Cleveland
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2023 [3 favorites]


she must say 'fuckpigs' 500 times, but the few instances of c*nt are bleeped. lol.
posted by supermedusa at 10:05 AM on December 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Wow. For me, YouTube paired this up with a preroll advert with Nigel Farage hawking some investment scheme. Impressive.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 10:42 AM on December 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Tactical voting is hard in the UK because it has very little constituency-level polling and swings in any given seat can be large from election to election, meaning it's very easy to see after the fact that a particular seat was very close and tactical voting could have swung it, but you can only guess at which seats that will be beforehand.

Is there any serious discussion of joining the EU again or is it too soon

Blaming misery on Brexit is kind of like blaming natural disasters on climate change. People who don't want to believe there's a connection can just decide not to.

(although a big part of our problem is that we elected the last government for the sole purpose of Getting Brexit Done, and once they did that they had absolutely nothing to offer. Rejoining the EU doesn't solve that)
posted by grahamparks at 11:10 AM on December 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

I really do try to find these videos funny, but it's so difficult to do so when there's all that depressing truth staring you in the face.
posted by dg at 2:00 PM on December 18, 2023 [5 favorites]

australian comedy is really the midpoint of american and british comedy
posted by i like crows very much at 2:56 PM on December 18, 2023

NZ comedy is wholly its own
posted by flabdablet at 5:55 PM on December 18, 2023

she must say 'fuckpigs' 500 times, but the few instances of c*nt are bleeped. lol. -- supermedusa
It's like the opposite of The Magicians.
posted by krisjohn at 11:45 PM on December 19, 2023

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