As the Great Antiques Hunt ended on BBC 2 last night a Conservative Election Broadcast came on. Now I admit I'd normally have turned the sound down or turned it off but by the time I found the remote I was hooked.
Essentially they gave the broadcast over to an appeal for aid to East Africa, with lots of Tories urging you to do as they've done and donate to the East Africa appeal.
Now of course this was quite clever. Apparently Nick Robinson (BBC Polictal editor) in an interview, had asked Cameron why he was increasing overseas aid when the countries finance are in such a state and, when the majority of the British people think the money money could be better used here: reduce the deficit, less cuts, equiping the military.
I think Robinson has got the mood of the man/woman in the street right. The problem is that the average person in the west (UK/US etc) equates the poverty we see here with that in East Africa. Frankly however I doubt that there are many people having to walk miles just to get clean water in the West but that is easy for a comfortably off chap like me to say (holiday anyone?).
The aid budget, like the BBC world service, is a wonderful source of advertising for us. Frankly I'd rather my taxes go to helping someone get clean water than some of the uses over here, but then I regard myself as a citizen of the world. When this bloke Jesus spoke of neighbours he wasn't talking about nationalistic boundaries.
No the Conservative party broadcast was clever. It gave airtime to a major crisis and portrayed them in a good light. Yes it was still an Party Political Broadcast but and here is something I didn't think I'd say Kudos to the Conservatives on it.