DUP PEB appeals for soldiers’ charities…

Not sure I ‘get’ this… Peter Robinson pushes his party’s broadcast to one side to make an appeal for charities which help wounded soldiers and/or their bereaved relatives… There’s a nod to people who may not approve of war in the middle there too…

What do you think?

  • Only so much he has to say after last week’s PfG – really all the claims of ‘success’ have been made and what more will there be to say at his conference – and in some ways this appeals to his core constituency which has more faith in the armed forces than in politicians if broadly in line with overall ‘British’ sentiment http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/11019/trust_in_charities_almost_as_volatile_as_trust_in_banks_survey_finds. So Robinson is projecting a group conciousness a) charitable b) sharing trust in armed forces c) being uncontroversial and ‘big Unionist’ rather than party specific and not having a go at ‘themuns’ who in the Executive are after all ‘usuns’ these days. Makes sense. Though not quite sure where the DUP message rests at the moment, and not 100% clear the DUP does either.

  • Thought the link was broken there, but in fact works, oddly even though entire original link does not appear.

  • andnowwhat

    Nothing about fracking and interested landowners/politicians?

  • JR

    First He says we are not here to plug our policies, then he goes ahead and plugs the policies. Second it seems a bit coarse to remind everyone that he was giving his time for free to make the commercial then it ends with if you want to help visit the DUP website.

    Not impressed by the message to those who disagree with the war.

    I would be surprised if this didn’t backfire a bit.

  • sherdy

    Will Peter Robinson set a good example by making a generous donation from his own considerable family fortune?

  • Munsterview

    Sherdy : “…Will Peter Robinson set a good example by making a generous donation from his own considerable family fortune?….”

    Yeah, why not………. that piece of ground that he got for a fiver must be worth at least a tenner by now. There is a suggestion for the first few bob anyway !

  • PPBs and PEBs are rightly not subject to editoral or content control and even escape taste and decency regulation.

    But two thoughts arise:

    1. Odd to see a broadcast that will alienate some people even within it’s own constituency.
    2. Flood gates will open across the north and Britain now DUP have demonstrated the complete content flexibility within the law and this will have been subject to serious review by broadcasters legal teams. (What now from the BNP?)

  • dwatch

    Pity PR forget to mention the names of the soldiers charities he is requesting viewers to donate to.

  • Will

    Interesting video. With a bit more subtlety it could perhaps be seen as a noble attempt at raising awareness of an important charity, however, it appears to me a populist gesture and an attempt to tack the DUP onto a clear current of thinking which has grown substantially within the UK as a whole over the last few years – the “support our troops” mentality often accompanied by an aggressive defence of “our boys” against enemies, both imaginary and real.

    Could play well with many Unionists though, I lost count of the number of Unionist friends and acquaintances with pro-Army facebook statuses and display pictures leading up to Remberance Sunday. I imagine it depends on their cynicism regarding the DUP/politicians in general

  • Rory Carr

    It must be comforting for those members of the UK armed forces to know that, if they are badly injured, crippled, mutilated while serving the state, in return the state will do everything in its power to ensure that concern for their future welfare will be made dependent upon the whim of charity. Even better – if one is killed then his family gets to be a charity case.

    Rather different story for the war profiteers though. I recall the Falklands conflict when ships belonging to the food and shipping conglomerate belonging to the Vestey family, were commissioned for use by the British as troop carriers to ferry the troops into the South Atlantic in their vast holds. Many of the troops at the time commented on enjoying the odd stray tin of corned beef that had not been cleared out prior to use as a troop-carrier. Vestey were of course amply rewarded for the use of their shipping but, better yet, as part of the deal, shipping commissioned for troop transport was all given a complete refurbishment at taxpayers’ expense at the end of the conflict, which is more than could be said for the poor sods who were broken in mind and body as a result of that conflict.

  • dwatch,

    I am guessing naming the charities would step over into advertising and the DUP had to tread very carefully on that.

    The only legal aspect I thought was open to question was the call to google or use the DUP website to find the names of charities, it gets close to advertising another entity other than the party being promoted.

    I’m sure this was all central to DUP discussions with broadcasters and possible the Electoral Commission.

    Still an innovative idea, not up to be to judge the crassness level as I’m not sympathetic to either the party or cause.

  • andnowwhat

    Then there’s the good news. If any catholic soldiers killed, even the DUP MLAs who are in the OO can attend their funeral.

    I wonder if Jeffrey came up with this idea.

  • Decimus

    It must be comforting for those members of the UK armed forces to know that, if they are badly injured, crippled, mutilated while serving the state, in return the state will do everything in its power to ensure that concern for their future welfare will be made dependent upon the whim of charity.

    Rory,

    That is factually incorrect. Any charity is given over and above what has already been given by the government which would include a sizable lump sum and a monthly war pension. In many cases the MOD are also giving fully converted married quarters to badly injured soldiers to live in.

  • DC

    DUP MLAs and MPs should donate a set amount of their salaries over a year to a particular soldiers charity of their own choosing – the DUP should lead on this, others will then follow.

  • Decimus,

    The broadcast notes just 3 examples of these charities’ work, two are:

    Some help former soldiers adjust to civilian life, others provide a friendly visit to families who have lost a loved one

    The government that sent them off to war isn’t paying for these things?

  • DC

    Peter Robinson apparently donated a fiver.

    But anyway, it’s another example of a party using an issue which has external dynamic or better still a wider appeal beyond boring party politics, pitched to the public in a bid to augment its own domestic power base.

    Gerry Adams in Cuba is another re attempting to boost his socialist credentials, take Marty going for President – same kind of thing, even the right wing Tories get domestic appeal from bashing the EU. That external dynamic comes in handy.

  • Decimus

    The broadcast notes just 3 examples of these charities’ work, two are:

    Some help former soldiers adjust to civilian life, others provide a friendly visit to families who have lost a loved one

    The government that sent them off to war isn’t paying for these things?

    Mark,

    Yes they provide both, but there can never be enough of either.

  • Decimus

    Btw wouldn’t the precedent for this have been set by David Cameron’s party political broadcast which was dedicated to foreign aid?

  • Carsons Cat

    A few observations.

    The intentions are clear – and well intentioned, even if the exact execution may not be perfect. However, it shows a degree of confidence that they can “abandon” the party politics (even if not 100%) from a broadcast in favour of something which isn’t just directly in the interests of a party.

    On the “opening the floodgates” issue – I suppose they feel able to do it this year, with no election on the horizon and therefore no real votes to pitch for anyway. I’ve never seen a BNP broadcast prior to their conference so not sure if they get one – while its nice and public spirited to do this at this time, there’s no party which would give up a pre-Election broadcast in that way. In NI there’s sufficient elections for these kind of “gap years” to be few and far between.

    Its interesting that its been mostly/virtually all nationalists commenting on it and then grumbling. This is clearly a pitch at the wider unionist electorate, as even the “softest” of unionists, and probably even the average Alliance voter is perfectly content with supporting troops etc. The radio silence from the Ulster Unionists probably means they’re kicking themselves that they didn’t get Taaaawwwwmmm Elliott to do the same for theirs.

    That feeds into the fact that people appear to have worked on what they think they heard – not what they heard. There was no appeal to “google” the charities – check again, they ask you to “search online” – its simply the domination of that particular search engine which means that in our minds “search online” = google. That’s a fairly insignificant point.

    It also doesn’t tell you to use the DUP website, but it does say to go to a DUP Advice Centre – maybe little difference – I don’t know really. Its obvious that the broadcasting guidelines must have prevented any direct appeal being made, or even mentioning any one, or number of charities.

    Its no doubt going to cause a bit of a fuss – but I’d imagine that on a calcuated assessment they’re probably happy enough with people accusing them of too much “troop supporting” – again, hardly something that will go down very badly with even non-DUP voting, middle of the road unionists, and even softer Alliance type votes.

    Ultimately – its different and has probably caused more discussion than the “normal” type of party political broadcast. Do advertisers not say that the adverts which work aren’t necessarily the ones you like, but the ones which stick in your mind and which get you talking. On that score, they’ve probably scored a moderate victory.

  • DC

    The government that sent them off to war isn’t paying for these things?

    Good point, how about turning Girdwood army barracks into social housing for british army veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan?

  • On reflection this is probably the most well judged PPB ever.

    Coming just after Rembrance Sunday and programmes like Military Wifes with the subsequent push from BBC2 via the likes of Chris Evans to get them a Christmas #1 it is inspired.

    Jingoism doesn’t always sell but at this moment, with no election in sight, it is a very sound marketing ploy from the DUP.

    Well done to the cynical bastard that decided it was a good idea. The crassness is totally surpressed by the timing.

  • And this has been done before. It is the PPB replicating X Factor and the ‘Help for Heroes’ #1 tactic.

    Keep the brand on top by attaching it to a jingoistic heart-string pulling issue most of the target audience will relate to. Then come the important contest (the xmas #1 or an election), the brand has already positioned itself as a winner in the minds of a key demographic.

    Wonderful stuff by the DUP – Simon Cowell as political mentor.

  • Decimus

    Keep the brand on top by attaching it to a jingoistic heart-string pulling issue most of the target audience will relate to. Then come the important contest (the xmas #1 or an election), the brand has already positioned itself as a winner in the minds of a key demographic.

    Mark,

    A bit like the hunger strike then.

  • alan56

    Cynical or sincere it doesn’t matter. Most PPBs get ignored beyond core support. This one is being talked about… and that is success for the DUP

  • Alan,

    Good comment. I ended up writing about it! DUP – the Simon Cowell of Party Political Broadcasts

  • JH

    Everything that comes from the DUP these days seems so washed through the PR machine that I don’t know whether to think this is a great idea or whether they’re losing touch with the electorate by pursuing the “Northern Ireland moving forward” brand.

    Time will tell I guess.

    I’ll keep voting for folks that mean what they say.

  • quality

    Mark

    On your piece, while I agree with its sentiment, I’d take exception to the notion there were merely ‘complaints’ against Eoghan Quigg taking part in the Help the Heroes campaign. There were threats (genuine or otherwise), whipped up by people like Richard Walsh. Not pleasant.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    MMG: The only legal aspect I thought was open to question was the call to google or use the DUP website to find the names of charities

    Google is probably ubiquitous enough at this point that they could get away with it, like if they mentioned a hoover or transit vans.

  • galloglaigh

    Decimus

    which would include… a monthly war pension

    Do soldiers who served during Operation Banner get the same war pension?

  • BluesJazz

    Trying to find some record of Peter Robinson’s military service but google just refers to his ‘Ulster Resistance’ paramilitary record. Anyone know what regiment he served in?

  • Decimus

    The Royal Ulster Standbacks?

  • galloglaigh

    Decimus

    which would include… a monthly war pension

    Do soldiers who served during Operation Banner get the same war pension?