Only my most dedicated stalkers will remember my rant a year ago, regarding a by-election in Thatcham South and Crookham, the council ward where I live. I was complaining about the lack of information on the contest, which was eventually won by a lady rejoicing in the name Marvellous Ford. I wrote at the time:
A name you won’t forget, although not ideal for search engine optimisation.
… and right enough, I didn’t forget the name. Which is why it came as quite a surprise to see this in the first Lib Dem leaflet of the Campaign Proper:
A selection of typical local people voicing their support for former MP David Rendel, standing in – gulp! – his sixth successive general election (plus the legendary 1993 by-election). But just a minute, who’s that typical local person second from the left? Marvellous from Thatcham? Really?
Now it’s not as if there are many people called Marvellous in the country, never mind in a small – and for the record, not very ethnically diverse – town like Thatcham. But if you felt the need for total confirmation, a quick check on the local council’s website will instantly confirm that our ‘typical local person’ is indeed the Liberal Democrat councillor for Thatcham South and Crookham.
Every election brings its own fair share of crimes against design. But seriously, if you’re going to pad out your leaflet with senior members of the local party pretending to be The Average Voter In The Street – I’d probably suggest you choose people who are a bit less Google-able.