Right Said Fred

Right Said Fred
It was May 1983 when Fred, the sitting MP for the constituency of Withington came a-knocking on the St Clements Road door. A smart move because with eight votes to be had in that house and a marginal seat to be held, he needed all the help he could get. Fred had held the seat since 1974 but even with the Falklands factor he was on shaky ground the way the economy was going. His campaign leaflet is classic 1960s old-school. Minimal text, bold colour and in-your-face photo. His name is in capitals to emphasise his authority and complete mastery of the brief. The tight kerning suggests exemplary fiscal control but the party name is in lower case, just to soften things up a bit. I love the way the printer gets such a prominent position for his credit, but thats the Tories for you, always on the side of enterprise. What no logo? Any central office branding mandarin of today would be throwing up their hands in a fit of apoplexy – ‘the voters will be confused!’ But how could anyone not know what Fred stood for? Solid, dependable, serious, good for business. He’s the man. You could almost see him on the bridge at the head of The Task Force, steaming into Port Stanley, his glacial stare striking fear into the heart of the Argies. Family values? Why not, though no need to plaster pictures of the wife and kids all over the publicity. Funnily enough though, come 1987 he was beaten by Keith Bradley, a man with a beard and a shiny new rose logo.

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