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 MyDavidCameron.com 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.