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7 November 2019

29 questions about the Tories’ “Boris walks in slow-mo” campaign video

If you keep watching it on a loop, after a while it starts to get quite good.

By Jonn Elledge

I’ve been watching the 30-second campaign video released by the Conservative Party earlier this morning, in which Boris Johnson walks, in slow-mo, out of Downing Street, on a loop for about 20 minutes now, which is an entirely sane and normal thing to do. (I’m not embedding it, because it’s Tory campaign material and for heaven’s sake this is the New Statesman, but if you haven’t see it you can find it here.) 

Anyway, result is, I have some questions.

  1. Why is the man who is, and we should all try to stay shocked at this, Britain’s Prime Minister walking in slow-mo?
  2. Are we meant to be impressed by the fact that he’s moving in slow-mo?
  3. And why is he walking away from us, the electorate, who he is presumably hoping to impress?
  4. Who out there is it who thought we’d be impressed by the sight of Boris Johnson’s back?
  5. Isn’t there a danger that this draws attention to the fact that he stoops and doesn’t seem to know what to do with his arms?
  6. And why do we never see his face?
  7. Is that definitely Boris Johnson at all, come to that?
  8. Would there be any fate more crushing as a drama school graduate than to secure the part of “Boris Johnson’s slow-motion back”?
  9. Why is he on his own?
  10. Is the entire campaign strategy really going to be based on “this historically unpopular Prime Minister, who is apparently running away”?
  11. Who on earth decided to paint the halls of 10 Downing Street lemon yellow?
  12. Why, for the soundtrack, has the Conservative Party chosen what can only be described as “music to accompany a montage of a divorcing couple failing to save a friend’s life in the dramatic season finale of Holby City”?
  13. Why does Johnson’s voiceover begin in the middle of a sentence?
  14. Could they not record a version of this speech in which it didn’t sound like he was struggling for breath after completing some minor athletic feat, such as running for a bus or climbing a slight incline?
  15. Is it actually just walking that’s left him so out of breath?
  16. Is it possible that this isn’t slow-mo at all; he’s genuinely just walking really slowly?
  17. What exactly is the link between “Getting Brexit done” and “unleashing the potential of the whole United Kingdom”?
  18. How will Brexit unleash our potential?
  19. And why has nobody ever been able to tell us?
  20. Isn’t it a bit rich to talk about “the whole United Kingdom” when your entire Brexit strategy is predicated on creating a barrier between one of the four constituent countries and the other three, while your electoral strategy is predicated on giving up all hopes of keeping your seats in a second?
  21. How will a Tory majority mean a parliament working for “you”, if “you” happen to be a Remainer, a left-winger, a benefit claimant, a renter, a public sector worker, or someone who is dependent on public services?
  22. Why are the camera flashes coming from outside as Johnson walks through his porch so much brighter than the ones we actually see when the security man opens the front door?
  23. Have they really gone to the trouble of adding fake camera flashes?
  24. Isn’t that a tiny bit massively bloody embarrassing?
  25. Why does the video keep cutting out and jumping forward in time, but only by about a second?
  26. Is it meant to be more dramatic that we’re only seeing approximately 96 per cent of Boris Johnson’s walk to his front door?
  27. Why is the security man who opens the door very clearly not the security man who is waiting to open the front door a mere moment beforehand?
  28. Who in the Conservative Party hierarchy decided that the best visual symbol of their election campaign would be “Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street, on his own”?
  29. Is it possible that The West Wing is to blame for all this?
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