Anorak News | You Could Not Make It Up

You Could Not Make It Up

by | 25th, April 2006

‘SUMMON the hairdresser. An ICM poll commissioned by the Guardian says Labour’s support is at 19-year low. The red corner can now count on just 32% of the vote, two points less than the Conservatives.

Take care not to overdo it, lads

And give Tony Blair some slap. Between 1999 and 2005, Tony spent in excess of £1,800 of taxpayers’ money on cosmetics and make-up artists. Far more was spent on Cherie Blair’s hair in the run up to the last election, but that was funded by the Labour party and its donors.

Cherie’s hair represented real value for money – as we have noted, it was the hair wot won it.

But what else did Labour spend money on at the last big vote? And what did the other parties use their cash for?

Figures released by the Electoral Commission, the election watchdog, show that the three main parties spent a total of £40 million on the last election.

Labour paid spin doctor Alastair Campbell £47,000 for four months’ work. A whopping 530,375 was used to employ Mark Penn, the man the Telegraph calls “Washington’s most powerful pollster and political strategist”. He coined the party’s ‘Forward not back’ slogan. Was he paid by the word? The mind boggles at how expensive Penn would have been had he come up with a longer slogan.

The Tories also paid well to get their man. Lynton Crosby, their Australian guru, set them back £441,146. The Tories also spent a further £308,143 on a daily tracker poll. And £43,475 went on focus groups. In total, the Tories spent £17.85 million and Labour £17.94 million.

This is interesting stuff. And it only gets more fascinating when the Times tells us that it cost £3,683 to keep former Tory leader Michael Howard in make-up.

Former LibDem leader Charles Kennedy spent £1,580 on the services of a make-up artiste and £273 on a portable make-up kit – some news for we who supposed Kennedy’s complexion owed less to rouge and more to booze. Perhaps this kit came in a bottle?

And Kennedy also required £4,800 for five suits and a jacket and trousers twin set. And then there was the £355 spent on six “two-fold cotton shirts”.

Meanwhile, Labour were investing £299.63 on its wardrobe, hiring six Star Trek costumes with ears. These were worn by party activists keen to mock John Redwood, the Tory MP nicknamed ‘The Vulcan’ after the show’s Dr Spock character.

How this affected the outcome of the election we may never know. But the Times does point out that that the most expensive election in modern times produced the second-lowest turnout of 61.3 per cent.

And, like our politicians, that’s something that could look so much better…’

Posted: 25th, April 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink