Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Labour's design for Respect

As a graphic designer, I’ve always been as offended by the Respect Party’s logo as I have with their election shenanigans. Let’s face it, it looks like a drunk person designed it ten minutes after the print deadline had passed using some freeware fonts and Printmaster for Dos 3.2.

Let’s face it, it’s UGLY!

So, they must be thrilled that the far better resourced Labour Party have not only had a go at a redesign, but have used it on their own material.

With the slogan “Everyone is part of everyone else” one can only surmise that a Labour copywriter got the short end of the stick and is doing his best to break down inter-party identity recognition.

What next? A Labour's recruitment leaflet with have the slogan"Join Labour - Socialise, Work... and Party!"

Or perhaps they'll do a PowerPoint presentation "'Liberation for Democracy" on why they thought they should invade Iraq and advertise it with posters asking:

"Have you seen The Lib-Dem today?"

Frankly, their ad-agency should be fired. “Coke Gives You Pep?” I don’t think so! I cannot see that getting through QC. SO who dreamt up a Labour campaign named after one of their yapping-at-the-heels opponents?

Nevertheless, the probably won’t be, because the author of the document exhibits simlar symptoms of being divorced from reality.

“I am pleased that an ASBO is now a household expression – synonymous with tackling antisocial behaviour,” says one Mr T Blair, employed to write the forward. Is he mad? Surely he must realise that the image the average person has of ASBOs is of petty neighbours behaving like they’re on a reality TV show and of OAPs prosecuted for a range of activities that OAPs have meldrewed the rest of us with for eons. ASBO’s may very well have had a positive effect, but to trot out this feel-good nonsense certainly isn’t making the case.

But oh, it is not all that feel-good and inclusive. One community is excluded with a stern rebuke. “There is no room for cynicism”, the writer warns. I guess cynicism is anti-social – and we know what anti-social behaviour get slapped with!

But if cynics were worried only by the preachy tone of an otherwise common-sense collection of truisms, the scary part comes later on.

“The causes of disrespectful behaviour are harder to pin down. Many people feel that broad economic and social trends have led to changes in family structures such as the extended family and ‘good neighbourliness’.”

No disagreement there. Of course dysfunctional families and a lack of economic and social opportunity contribute directly to anti-social behaviour. If people don’t feel they have a stake in their community, they’re going to act out accordingly. It’s a no-brainer, really! But wait! That’s not the argument they’re making. Nope!

This is not the cause of anti-social behaviour,apparently. This is the cause... of the cause. The actual cause is, wait for it…

“a decline in the social influence of the Church and other faith communities…”


Is this really what a supposedly secular socialist political party is arguing? Not that socio-economic factors alone can contribute to the failing of social cohesion, but that a lack of faith is the real factor? They seem to be saying that the primary glue of a community is the Church, Synagogue, Mosque or Temple but that the influence of the Church, Synagogue, Mosque or Temple in holding a community together is undermined by socio-economic factors.

Mark my words, this will just provide an excuse and opportunity for religious groups to gouge more government money to fund their proselytising in the name of “community work”.

Why oh why can’t a socialist party not simply argue that a lack of socio-economic opportunity is in and of itself a sufficient cause of community breakdown?


Post a Comment

<< Home