Labour launches shock video campaign on YouTube

25 Apr 2007

A new dimension to the Irish politicians’ embrace of all things cyber in the run-up to the general election emerged on the internet last night with a shock video by Labour.

The Labour video attempts to cast light on the issue of private super clinics in Ireland’s crumbling health system

A simple, low-budget 36-second vignette piece opens with a few of the ceiling of a hospital corridor from the viewpoint of a patient waiting for a hospital bed.

Amidst the sounds of a noisy hospital corridor and a heart machine slowly flat lining in the background the following words emerge on the screen: “This is Margaret. She is 72. Maybe you know her? She’s not sure how long she has been in this trolley.

It continues: “Building super private clinics will make this worse. These are Fianna Fail’s real next steps forward. Don’t privatise A&E. Vote Labour.” The short piece ends as the trolley patient flatlines.

The use of issue-led propaganda evinces a new sophistication in politicians’ eager but crude uses of the internet to attract younger voters.

Efforts have ranged from local politicians lambasting each other in the blogosphere to the cringeworthy endeavours of a Fianna Fail election hopeful inspiring the youth of Ireland to the tune of Chariots of Fire from his living room couch.

While Bertie dithers around announcing the date of the elections it looks like there will be plenty to keep us amused on YouTube in the days and weeks ahead. Watch this cyberspace!

By John Kennedy