Well, there’s an old saying about it sometimes being unpleasant to get more than you bargained for than less, and since yesterday’s budget announcement, bingo has been getting a lot more attention than usual and for all the wrong reasons. With the other saying ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ in mind, bingo is firmly in the public eye, at least until it’s tomorrow’s chip wrappers. Let’s have a quick round-up of what’s been occurring out there, and plant our tongues firmly in our cheeks.
It all started when Tory “PR Genius” Grant Shapps posted this tweet and the below picture.
Well, I could barely keep my cloth cap from flying off in rage at the condescending nature of this message. I fed the pigeons, then came in and ate some Hovis to calm down, and thought what would Jeremy Kyle do in this situation? My wife filled up the tin bath and I drank some pale ale, and soon was calm again. We’re all in this together I thought to myself, and all was well with the world again. I could drink 500 pints and save £5 to go and have a game of bingo. Happy days! Thank you masters, we’ll be working extra hard at the coal face today.
Meanwhile, back in the real world other people weren’t so calm. In fact the old teacup has been well and truly blown over. Within minutes those rascals out there were firing up Photoshop and letting rip. Even Tory fluffer The Daily Mail felt embarrassed enough to cover it, and some of the less than flattering version can be seen on their piece here. My particular favourite is from “Thick Of It” writer Simon Blackwell who tweeted:
Genuinely, if that Conservative beer & bingo ad had come up at a Thick Of It script meeting we’d have rejected it as being too far-fetched.
— Simon Blackwell (@simonblackwell) March 19, 2014
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve had Jeremy Paxman talking about it on Newsnight, where fellow coalition MP Danny Alexander branded it as “rather patronising”. Not only there, but I woke up to see Ed ‘Bingo’ Balls complaining about it too. That’s just what I’ve seen, and I’ve only turned TV on twice. But it’s not just the proper news covering it, ITV and Sky are having a go too. Oh, and The Sun, The Mirror, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, we’ve already seen the Daily Fail. You can’t buy that sort of publicity.
But there’s more fun to be had. If you like twitter (and why wouldn’t you) the take a look at the #ToryBingo hashtag, there’s plenty on there that’s making its way in to the news, including these that hit the nail firmly on the head.
— LankyLamb (@lankylamb) March 20, 2014
Take from the poor, 44. Privatise, 55. Give to the rich, 66. A donation for me? 73! #torybingo
— Alan (@ExistentialQ) March 19, 2014
— Political Scrapbook (@PSbook) March 20, 2014
And finally, you can build your own Grant Shapps type poster here. This one’s our own personal favourite that we would suggest you tweet far and wide:
UPDATE: And if you think that this budget will mean bigger prizes or cheaper bingo as a result (as I’ve heard mentioned in some places) then think again. This just in:
The cut in duty on bingo hall profits from 20% to 10% will have 'no money in the pocket effect for customers' says Bingo Association.
— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) March 20, 2014