The party political broadcasts of this campaign have been pretty dull. Until the Green Party released its video entitled ‘Change The Tune’ this afternoon, that is. The Greens suggest that David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage are all so similar they might as well be in the same boyband. Cue some truly terrible lookalikes in the band 'Coalition' singing about ‘a party political harmony’, ‘austerity, oh austerity’ and ‘joining the one true coalition’. You can watch the PPB — which has surprisingly high production values for a small party — above, or download the song (for free) from Bandcamp.
At first, the video seems completely baffling: why on earth would a political party spoof a boyband to win an election? And was this an effective use of the party's limited funds — what will they actually gain from the viral traction? The party has been spending money in odd ways: it has flashy campaign offices in Bristol, for instance, when offices don’t tend to change voters’ minds. But a video that goes viral may be much more potent.
It’s catchy and quirky enough to stick in your head and it will undoubtedly raise the Green's profile. It’s hard to see how any of the other parties can top this. Compared to the stilted and inept appearances from the Green leader Natalie Bennett, the PPB is fun and it manages to make the point that the Greens offer a significantly different approach to the other parties. Bennett said this afternoon that the PPB underlines ‘for many years the Establishment parties have been singing from the same hymn sheet’ (nearly all of the song lyrics are in this statement):
‘The Westminster consensus – which sees all other parties sign up to austerity economics, privatisation of our public services and inaction on climate change – is coming to an end. The Green Party is offering a real alternative to business-as-usual politics.
‘We want an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means bringing in a Living Wage of £10 an hour by 2020 and fair taxes on rich individuals and Britain’s biggest corporations.
‘Voting Green on May 7th is a chance for people to play their part in breaking open the political harmony of the Establishment parties.”
The most interesting party political broadcast in this campaign to date was Labour’s Martin Freeman video, which itself wasn’t that memorable. The Green Party has injected some much needed humour and fun into the campaign. Although it's unlikely to change the minds of many voters, this ode to party political harmony will probably be the best PPB of the election.