Memorable campaign slogans

While drafting and reading leaflets during the current County Council elections I have been reminded of some of the more memorable election slogans of past campaigns.

Two which stick in my memory were used on opposite sides of the 1884 US Presidential election between Republican James Blaine and Democrat Grover Cleveland:

"Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine" –

(used by Grover Cleveland supporters, referring to Blaine's alleged unethical business deals)


The Republicans retaliated with ...

"Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa, Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha!"

(which referred to an illegitimate child who Cleveland had allegedly fathered.)

During the 1952 Presidential election the republicans had a campaign song "I like Ike" referring to their candidate Dwight D (Ike) Eisenhower. One Democrat retorted that

"I like Mickey Mouse, but I'm not going to vote for him either"

The country, however, decided that they did like Ike and he was duly elected.

One of the most memorable phrases that I recall from an election, not necessarily for the right reasons, came from an election in St Albans in 1987 or 1992, when Peter Lilley, the Conservative MP, was seeking re-election. When she was handed the microphone in a loudspeaker van driving round my ward, a sixteen year old Young Conservative came out with this little gem ...

"We're very clever, we're not silly,
We all vote for Peter Lilley!"

God only knows what my electors thought of that one, but Peter was duly re-elected.

Whatever else you may say about them, the late and largely unlamented Federation of Conservative students came up with some classic posters. When three Labour MPs visited Afghanistan while the country was under soviet occupation, one of them (Ron Brown MP) was quoted as saying

"We looked around in vain for tanks."

However, despite this quote, the Labour MPs concerned also posed for photographs in front of a tank, and Brian Monteith, later a member of the Scottish parliament, managed to get the rights allowing him to use one: he produced a poster featuring the three Labour MPs in front of a soviet tank, the words from Ron Brown quoted above, and the caption in big letters at top and bottom:

"H.M. Government Health Warning -  Socialism can seriously damage your eyesight."

There is a scan of an elderly copy of this poster on flickr here. Another memorable F.C.S.poster had a picture of the tomb of Karl Marx and the words

"Should your student union be run by a 168 year old corpse from Highgate Cemetary?"

Then there was the 1987 election poster of a surrendering soldier holding his hands in the air and the slogan

 "Labour's policy on arms"

Does anyone reading this have a favourite - or least favourite - poster or slogan they would like to remember?

Leave a comment if you want to share it.


Popular posts from this blog

Nick Herbert on his visit to flood hit areas of Cumbria

Quotes of the day 19th August 2020

Quote of the day 24th July 2020