Various massive gaffes have recently landed the Labour Party in trouble. It’s hardly the first time politicians have said the wrong thing. Gráinne Maguire has a few tips on how they can achieve guaranteed media success.
Congratulations on your decision to be in or run for public office! I mean, it obviously means terrible things about you as a person and leaves a real question mark over just what went wrong in your childhood, but let’s leave that aside for the moment and give you some advice on how you should approach the media.
Yes, he may be a controversial figure but he’s a person from history everyone has heard of so you’ll definitely sound clever. You know who else bangs on about people from the past loads? Simon Schama and everyone loves him. Also, who doesn’t have an opinion on Hitler? It’s a great way to get the small talk going on the doorstep!
Note: it doesn’t always have to be in context; would you like a cup of tea? Thanks yes, do you know the Third Reich’s thoughts on inner city planning? That sort of thing.
If you can drop in the impact of the United States on Israeli domestic policy that would be great too. Again, it doesn’t have to be relevant to what you’re talking about; you just have to sound passionate.
Remember that guy you met in the pub with the snake that afternoon you were fired from work but were too scared to go home and tell your partner? Well, remember when you stopped crying, that website he showed you on his phone that said if you fold a ten pound note diagonally you read a message from Jim Morrison saying Princess Anne is a lizard? Next time you’re on a national radio call-in show, mention that. If anyone disagrees with you, it’s really handy way of finding out who the lizards have got to already.
Link your opponent to acts of terrorism as much as possible
If you can hint that if the public vote for your opponent instead of you there will be another terrorist attack, this can only help. You don’t want to confuse people with facts or figures, just the threat of imminent destruction.
“People love a conspiracy theory so if you can link your opponent to any of them, you’re not only helping your campaign but also giving other people hours of entertainment.”
Say you’re standing for president of your badminton club. Opposing you is Carol. Sure, you like Carol but it’s not being overly PC to point out that Carol is from Nottingham. You know who else was from Nottingham? Harold Shipman. Meaning it’s perfectly fine to warn members of your sports club that if they do elect Carol, she cannot be trusted with the first aid kit and she will murder them and their loved ones in their beds. That’s just science.
Suggest that your opponent’s dad might have assassinated JFK
Donald Trump recently won the Republican nomination with a campaign that reffed the National Enquirer and hinted that Rafael Cruz, his opponent Ted’s dad, might have met Lee Harvey Oswald before Mr Jackie Kennedy’s death. A ballsy move, but it worked for him.
Could you link your opponent with the death and subsequent cover-up of a beloved national figure? Maybe our Queen of Hearts, Princess Diana? It wouldn’t have to be obvious, just, yes, John would also make a great committee chairman of the cycling group, but where was he on 31 August 1997? And what happened to that white Fiat Uno he was so proud of? Then simply tap the side of your nose and walk away. People love a conspiracy theory so if you can link your opponent to any of them, you’re not only helping your campaign but also giving other people hours of entertainment.
Definitely mention the N word on Twitter
We all start watching a film and then get a bit too caught up in it. After a weekend watching The Godfather, I insisted on sitting in restaurants facing the door, started to bang on about family loyalty and ordered the execution of my little brother. It’s easy to do.
If you’re a bearded white politician up late watching Django Unchained definitely throw in the N word on Twitter. You’ve earned it; you’ve just watched a film about the horrors of slavery, you’ve met Colin Powell once, you loved The Cosby Show – it’s practically your word to reclaim.
If you are met with any criticism just double down and start slipping more Quentin Tarantino quotes into speeches: asked about the EU referendum? Start talking about what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in France. If in doubt, just start tweeting about the rubber ducks in the bath – that usually gets you out of most problems.
Obviously all these tips only work if you are a middle-aged white man. If you do not fall into that category, just smile bashfully, repeat constantly how much you miss your family when you go to work and try to subtly link yourself in the public imagination with either an Obama or Clinton. Best of luck!3879 Views
Gráinne Maguire is a comedian, comedy writer, lover and a fighter. Loves the Labour Party and Cheryl Cole in equal measures.