Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Barnett Formula Question

I don't know anything about the Justice for England group but this ad, via James Forsyth on the Spectator Coffee House, is one of the best low budget political virals I've seen. The music isn't great and the production values aren't exactly Hollywood but the simple message is superbly presented and well-focussed. Justice for England have done a great job:

Forsyth asks why the West Lothian question doesn't come up. He shouldn't be so surprised. A clever political campaign won't use up scarce public attention dealing with constitutional matters if they don't need to. People are slow to get worked up about procedural issues because those issues don't have the same tangible and direct effect on their lives as fiscal ones.

Is it really surprising that those outside the Westminster bubble will find the West Lothian question's procedural problem far less galling than the idea that they might die or remain ill because of an unfair distribution of public spending? Or that their children might not get the same standard of education?

This is aimed at the elderly concerned for their health and parents concerned about their children. It is expertly targetted at what people actually care about. An outraged video about the West Lothian question wouldn't be nearly as effective. The numbers of the people in the UK who really care about the details of the constitutional settlement probably number in the low thousands. Those who care about drugs to treat the elderly and schools and universities for the young form a majority of sixty million.

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