November 24, 2006

The tosser within

The TosserIn their breathless search for new approaches to ‘doing’ politics, the Conservative Party have launched a viral ad campaign (see video below) about rooting out your ‘inner tosser’.

It’s caused a lot of bemusement and some mild anger from the old guard Tories who find the use of the word ‘tosser’ offensive. But arguably it’s those who the campaign is aimed at who should find it offensive.

But I’m trying really hard to find something I hate about it. It’s very classily produced, and luckily is quite funny. If they’d missed the punchline it would have been incredibly embarrassing.

Norman Tebbit predictably finds it ‘a mark of the permissive society which has been lauded by the Labour Party’ but Iain Dale is amongst the moderates who note this is not aimed at us. But I’m not sure he’s right about that.

Because ultimately, while the advert is quite amusing and makes a good point, it does so in a way which isn’t very likely to have much effect on the ‘tossers’. Instead, it’s probably aimed at potential Tory voters, who might see the party as witty, clever or having unique ideas about how to solve the nation’s debt problem.

The trouble is there’s a fine line between all of that and seeming like a smart arse.


- 3 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Martin

    I don;t really understand why the conservatives made this. It’s obviously warning people against spending excessively on credit, but why is that such a specifically Tory quality? I don’t have any figures but my hunch would be that more people on very low incomes (and therefore unlikely to be Tory voters) would have more of a problem with debt. Rampant materialism on the other hand obviously is a Tory trait. Perhaps the ‘inner tosser’ would be more appropriately directed at those who think its necessary to have a big car in the first place, not just those who buy it on credit.

    26 Nov 2006, 09:26

  2. Adam

    I haven’t had the pleasure of a listen yet…I’d heard he has an American accent? Big mistake calling an american character ‘Tosser’. He needs to be a cockney!

    27 Nov 2006, 18:18

  3. Hero

    I think the use of the ‘tosser’ is misguided at best:

    a) Listening to the tosser is what has kept the economy strong, the housing market buoyant, the share prices of banks and financial institutions high, the poor weakened and ineffectual, the retail and automotive sectors artificially successful and has allowed employers to pay lower salaries than living costs suggest they should pay, all contributing to the preferred tory view of the world.

    b) the spoof advert suggests caution in crediut spending in exactly the same way as the many nanny-state public information films, and looks as though the government is telling us something sensible

    c) under the Labour government balance transfer fees and interest rates on credit cards have been at their lowest ever in the history of the business.

    d) the man looks like a working class thatcher-era tory.. so ‘stop the inner tosser’ refers perfectly to ‘stopping the inner 80s tory’

    28 Nov 2006, 13:51


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