…on my way to the internet. Having an eclectic wander, as I often do, in a (frequently fruitless) search for new ideas—especially from the many sides of the independence debate, I came across the following (no, not the Zen article but the ad in the lower right corner). And blinked, rubbed my eyes and still wondered if I was seeing things:
Disagree as I do with Labour over a number of things, I had held them to be a party of principle, from the dogmatic and partisan Jackie Baillie through the genuinely gifted Alexander siblings to the affably loyal, yet open-minded like Duncan Hothersall.
This ad may not be a first. But to anyone who has listened to Labour bang on about the preciousness of the NHS while dismissing anyone else’s claim to be as good a guardian for its future, this must rather reek of hypocrisy. It certainly sits ill with Gordon Brown’s speech to their part Conference in which he re-iterates their commitment:
“And now, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS, let me—on behalf of all of us here and all the people of the country—thank all the NHS staff: the cooks and cleaners; the paramedics and porters; the doctors and midwives and nurses.
You have served our country and served a great ideal: the principle that, in a fair society, health-care should not be a commodity to be bought by some but a right to be enjoyed by all.
“Labour is the party of the NHS—we created it, we saved it, we value it and we always will support it.”
What is someone struggling to believe in them to think? It just doesn’t sit right, does it?
Cock up before conspiracy. Rather than hypocrisy I suspect it’s just careless advertising management.
I suspect that the owners of LabourList have done a deal with an ad placement service to rent space on their pages, that the ad placement service is responsible for the actual content and Labour List have forgotten to specify that adverts for private heath care are not allowed.
My understanding of internet advertising is that it’s not that clever. The algorithms are smart enough to see that lots of people are reading and writing stuff about health care and the NHS but not smart enough to work out that an ad for private insurance on LabourList is more likely to be politically counter-productive than revenue generating.