Using No2AV’s cant on public spending to campaign against cuts

Tim Horton is the research director of the Fabian Society

After yesterday’s failed Rally Against Debt – attracting around 500 attendees, despite the benefit of a Times opinion column and coverage across the newspapers – we thought it was time to turn the tables on the Tories by using the No2AV posters they funded to campaign against the Coalition’s cuts.

These posters, you may recall, courted controversy during the referendum campaign with a claim that the Alternative Vote system would cost £250 million alongside a picture of a baby, arguing the money would be better spent on maternity units. Another poster carried the picture of a soldier, arguing for more spending on bulletproof vests.

It was ironic to see a campaign funded by Conservative backers and run by the chief executive of the right-wing TaxPayers’ Alliance – who organised yesterday’s rally – championing public spending. It must have been a refreshing change for them to be able to harness people’s love of public services, rather than trying to do them down all the time. But, in the process, the No campaign have given us a great way to campaign against the cuts.

Thanks to Clifford Singer of The Other Taxpayer’s Alliance, the creative force behind the phenomenon, we have transformed these iconic images into arguments against the coalition’s programme. And, now the referendum is over, we’ll keep using these posters to remind the Tories of popular support for our services.

In the meantime, I’ll be writing to the TaxPayers’ Alliance to ask if they’ll join with the Fabian Society to call for higher spending on maternity units and soldiers’ equipment, rather than their current focus on even deeper cuts to corporation tax.

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  • Anon E Mouse

    Tim Horton – My remarks are about the poster not the message.

    I realise that Labour’s love of warmongering and slavish support for Republican US Presidents, means we no longer need a justifiable cause (unlike the Falklands or Gulf War 1) for the party to want to go to war so it will cost more.

    There were also a lot of tax cuts under the last government Tim. They cut the level of 10p tax on the poorest remember whilst knighting the likes of Fred Godwin. Nice to see Labour activists supporting the military though. I remember Labour having a very pacifist agenda in the days there was a difference between the parties…

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  • Richard

    “There were also a lot of tax cuts under the last government Tim. They cut the level of 10p tax on the poorest”

    And restored it. Surely you remember, benefit scrounger?

  • Richard

    “we no longer need a justifiable cause… to go to war”

    If Libya is justifiable, then so is Syria and Yemen, but Scameron is as much a mendacious, hypocritical war-monger as his predecessors so what do you care?

  • lastname

    I agree with the second poster but the first is ignoring the fact that the reorganisation will save money, not cost money, and is therefore nonsense.