A screen grab from the English Democrats' party political broadcast
Yes, the buildup to today’s European Union elections has been dominated entirely by the one-man publicity machine that is Nigel Farage, head of the nativist UK Independence Party. But that doesn't mean that there aren't other groups of narcissists out there who aren't at least as deserving of your attention. So let's review some party political broadcasts from other groups—groups who also refuse to adhere to the staid PR conventions of Britain's major parties, like using decent microphones and not putting giant CGI monsters in your videos.
As far as tiny right-wing party political broadcasts go, no one’s nailed the re-blog market quite like the Independence from Europe party. Because what they lack in naming skills, they’ve made up for with this scaremongering B-movie pastiche of a giant-killer-octopus-type thing with an EU flag on its forehead going HAM all over Westminster and the Bank of England.
The problem, however, is that while the first minute is actually fairly well made—in a Doctor Who meets Attack of the Killer Tomatoes kind of way—they blew their budget for the remaining three and a half minutes. Which leaves the rest of the video looking a bit like one of those Colgate TV ads in which “dentists” stand in shopping malls bizarrely rubbing ice cubes on people’s teeth.
As the clip unfolds, we meet a few of the party’s supporters, including their “Dutch ally” Laurence Stassen, who—confusingly—is also their EU parliamentary candidate for Southeast England. We’re then introduced to party leader Mike Nattrass, member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands and a man who was elected as a UKIP candidate but de-selected last year after failing their candidate exam. Yep, that's right—he failed an integrity exam that was passed by people who believe in compulsory abortion for fetuses with Down's syndrome and have publicly dismissed all Muslims as "sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-fucking ragheads."
Mike subsequently accused Nigel Farage of rigging the process so that only his “cronies” would be hired, before describing UKIP as a “totalitarian regime." Which seems like a pretty bold statement to make about a party that can’t even organize a political rally, let alone establish central control of an entire country.
The English Democrats' video is basically just a bunch of depressing white guys standing in fields, holding blank pieces of card and railing against the nonexistent threat of Sharia law. All of which makes me about as proud to be English as the slave trade.
In their broadcast, the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) have eschewed peripheral stuff like policies and useful information in favor of just introducing all their European candidates by name, in a list, accompanied by what sounds like something you'd hear on a DJ Koze mix. This is probably wise, given that the last time one of their candidates stood in front of a video camera he told journalist Andrew Neil: "All Christians believe that God does and can do things with nature."
When pushed on whether he thought it possible that God’s anger over gay marriage may have caused the storms at the beginning of this year, he said, "I would certainly agree with that—it is possible... A lot of Christians believe that God is angry over gay marriage and God can actually show that anger."
This, unless you're campaigning for mayor of a depressed city in the 1920s, is not a good way to win votes, but who knows: Perhaps CPA's inevitable failure to make a dent at the polls will incur the wrath of the Almighty and ruin summer for everyone.
Ah, the BNP. With the rise of UKIP and the emergence of the UK’s new far-right street team, Britain First, poor beleaguered Nick Griffin and his band of tin-pot fascists have had their market share shredded. No surprise, then, that their video opens with an attack not on the EU, or even the coalition government, but on Farage himself.
They accuse the UKIP leader of not being harsh enough on immigration, particularly on Muslims. And what have these dastardly Muslims been up to? Sneaking bombs through customs and using their benefits to buy juicers and washing machines, if the BNP's animation is to be believed. This is all accompanied by the sound of a small girl who's been forced to sing a paranoid, xenophobic song to the tune of “All Things Bright and Beautiful," which includes lyrics about Muslims who “prey on little girls from takeaways and taxis," and “beg or sell Big Issues, or kill with knives and axes."
Which sounds extreme, but after the song, we’re whisked away to a lovely bucolic British setting, where Nick Griffin happens to be hanging out. “I’m sure you enjoyed that!” he grimaces, before asking us to “listen to ordinary people like you." These "ordinary people" comprise a van driver who sounds like a rejected late-night sketch comedy character, a soldier demanding capital punishment, a mom who’s unhappy about foreign children learning English and—my personal favorite—a man dressed like a priest playing with a padlock on a church door.
It’s not immediately clear whether or not he owns a key to the padlock, but after a bit of digging I feel confident saying he doesn’t. It turns out the guy's name is “Reverend” Robert West, a man who appears to have no affiliation with the Church of England, or in fact any church other than the Christian Council of Britain, one he set up himself, and that is based in his house, not a church.
This clip from the National Liberal Party is easily my favorite of the bunch. While it might be completely devoid of political nuance, passion, and technical ability, it more than makes up for it in brevity and what I imagine is a pretty serious flouting of musical copyright law.
Proving that Windows 98 WordArt is still available for consumer use, this is a great example of what you can achieve if you put literally no effort or money into your election video. The only slight issue is that, having watched it a couple of times, I still have absolutely no idea what their policies are.
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