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Updated | ‘Labour won’t work’ – PN unveils remake of 1979 Tory billboard

New PN billboards tell voters a new Labour government won’t work in remake of Saatchi and Saatchi billboard for UK Tories.

Jurgen Balzan
3 August 2012, 12:00am
The PN's new billboard tells voters Labour won't work.
1979 Tory billboard

The 1979 UK Conservatives' electoral billboard

The Nationalist Party is banking on the fear factor of a possible Labour electoral victory with new billboards that promise voters that 'Labour won't work' - lifting the landmark British Conservatives billboard 'Labour still isn't working' lock, stock and barrel.

The 1979 billboard, the handiwork of advertising gurus Saatchi and Saatchi, came hot on the heels of a disastrous Labour government when unemployment in Britain was around a million - the billboard featured a long dole queue under a banner that read 'Unemployment Office'.

In the PN billboard unveiled today morning, a long queue of people can also be seen, ostensibly denoting the reverse of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi's boast that he has 'created' 20,000 jobs in the last four years.

In a press conference this morning, finance minister Tonio Fenech told journalists the PN was explaining its policies through its billboards. "The electoral campaign will only start when the PM announces an election date," he said.

Asked why the PN had chosen to attack Labour over its performance back in the 1970s and 1980s, Fenech said the electorate would be voting on important issues such as unemployment.

Fenech said the PN's new billboard shows Labour for what it is. He added that while the Labour Party's billboards personally attack the Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. The PN's billboard focuses on the families' needs.

The finance minister said "while everybody knows where the PN stands on employment, Labour's policies remain unknown and when Labour was in government it's failed policies ran the country to the ground."

The minister said the billboard shows the Nationalist government success in creating 20,000 new jobs in the past four years and boasted of one of the lowest levels of unemployment while the Labour Party had a track record in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as between 1996 and 1998, of creating unemployment.

On his part, justice minister Chris Said said comparisons between Labour and the PN were inevitable. "The same people who promoted and implemented wrong policies in the past, are the same people leading the Labour Party, with former industry minister Karmenu Vella responsible for writing Labour's manifesto and aspiring to lead the country.

"We are obliged to make these comparisons because the future of the country is at stake, and until recently Joseph Muscat was giving wrong advice about Malta modelling its economy on Cyprus's." Said added "contrary to the PN's policies, Labour's policies create unemployment." 

PN secretary-general Paul Borg Olivier was not present for the press conference.














On its part, Labour issued a statement listing several events that took place back in 1979, to drive the line that "GonziPN is stuck in the past". In its statement, the PL says that 33 years ago Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran, Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq, Little House on the Prairie was a hit show, and "GonziPN's copycat billboard was created... GonziPN is stuck in the past."

The same Tory slogan has been borrowed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose most recent banner reads "Obama Isn't Working", in which he is blaming the US President for a shuttered plant he used as a backdrop.

The PN's billboard also comes a week after Labour unveiled its latest billboards mocking the empty stands the PN set up on roadsides in preparation for their billboard campaign. Placed exactly near the PN's blue billboard, the Labour billboard points towards the other, with the words "gonzipn - an absent government" [gonzipn - gvern bahh].

Lawrence Gonzi's declaration on Sunday that not voting in the next election would be equivalent to voting for Labour, reflects polls showing that the PN loses more of its votes to abstention than directly to Labour.

Gonzi's declaration signals that the PN has embarked on the preliminary stage of its long electoral campaign - today marked by their billboard campaign - to recover those 2008 Nationalist voters who do not intend shifting to Labour but are inclined not to vote or are still undecided on what to do.

One fundamental difference between 2008 and now is that while in the previous election Gonzi was the most trusted leader, despite his party trailing by 6 to 7 points in the polls, Gonzi himself is now less trusted than Labour leader Joseph Muscat.

All this suggests that the PN needs a long electoral campaign to accomplish its three goals: re-compacting its 2008 vote base by winning back non-voters and those who are still undecided, winning a majority of new voters, and substantially reduce the swing to Labour.

One major obstacle to this three-pronged strategy is that it depends on the fear factor, which was easy to conjure when Labour was still led by Alfred Sant after 1998. Moreover in 1996, when Sant was young and fresh, the PN's "ma tistax tafdah" (you can't trust him) campaign backfired.

The fact that Muscat does not have a baggage of government and is largely untried or untested makes the PN's campaign to diminish his appeal more difficult.

Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...
louis fenech
mr editor sorry to say that maltatoday is now offending all nationalists. its a shame reading this report showing the billboard launched by the pn and immediately on the same report followed by a statement by the pl. please state clearly or declare that maltatoday has become a pro labour gazzette more than l-orrizzont. mr jurgen balzan please note and for future reference that the pl has already began this campaign on defence.
parla piu piano
Qsamtuna bl-impjiegi ta kwalita GonziPN u EFA qablek. Gibtunha skjavi fil-2102. Fuq kollox berbaqtu u sparpaljajtu kollox u jassarthu l-uliedna u wlied uliedna. Dan barra l-perkacci li ghaddew u mtlew l-bwiet. Dik retirement plan ala PN. Issa kantaw Ejjew Nazzjonalisti,Ejjew Nazzjonalisti halli minghalikom terghu issibu xi Gahan Malti (bhall ma kont jien) u jerga jivvutalkom.
eddy privitera
tony fava
Tiskanta kemm hu originali dan Gonzipn !!!! Bhala meta ha zieda ta' 600 euro wara dahar kulhadd u mil-qalb ivvota sabiex jgholew ir-rati tad-dawl u l-ilma. Minbarra li meta jivvota kontra ir-rieda tal-poplu ghal-ligi tad-divorzju. Dan x'jahseb li hu. Xi Messija ??
The GonziPN are taking us in history only about 30 years when it was the Labour’s dark days. – If they want to be honest why don’t they take us 50 or 70 years back also when the PN were against free and compulsory education for all; when the PN were against giving one vote to one man (at that time the rich land owners had even 7 votes while the poor had ZERO); when the PN were against giving a vote to women; and more recently about 40 years ago when the PN were against the introduction of a pension for those who worked all their lives and wanted to retire. – I never liked Mintoff’s style but if it were not for him we would not have had any social services. So let us also give the devil his due and not only remember the bad parts. – This reminds me of Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony speech in Creaser’s funeral.
albert leone
I am afraid that this copied bill-board does not convey the intended message within the local context . The main problem which is currently being faced and which so afflicts those in recent employment is that of precarious work conditions. Many new employees are finding themselves being engaged under conditions of casual, part-time , temporary work or worse still are being forced to accept the false designation of self-employed. Indeed I suspect that the content of this bill=board might boomermang back against its local promoters. Indeed the wording "Precarious labor is not real work" may be just as appropriate a title for this bill-board.
daniel li
And the PN works? Then how come this PN government accumulated 6000,000 000 Euros in debt with 600,000 Euros in interests every single day of the week?, not to mention the 600 Euros back dated for three years they gave themselves in secrecy, Such hypocritical lot.
Nenu G.
Is this the electoral campaign strategy of the great bully Austin Gatt,copying a 1979 Tory poster? So don't be surprised the country is moving in a very fast way backwards under GonziPN
George Sultana
Another idea for next bill board, write,.........B' hekk int, shabek, u l-familji taghkom, ilkoll timxu 'l quddiem billi tahdmu aktar, taqilghu aktar flus, u thallsu anqas taxxa............. u bil-haqq tisiex taghmlu l-firma taht, Lawrence Gonzi. Biex taraw x' jigri wara li tivvutawlu, staqsu l-haddiema tat-Tarzna. Dawn kollha rrvevew kliem bhal dan qabel l-elezzjoni tat-2008.
F'liema stat miskin wasalna f'dan il pajjiz. Zewg ministri joqoghdu jiskomdaw ruhhom biex jattendu ghal l-ewwel konferenza stampa li qatt saret ( fid-dinja ) biex jigi illancat Billboard.
Issa ufficjalment konfermata...GONZIPN bla idejat. Anki bill board ikkupjaw. Forsi PBO ghadu ma gabarx il-flus!!!!!
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay! Or PBO getting David Agius in as a consultant?
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay! Or PBO getting David Agius in as a consultant?
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay! Or PBO getting David Agius in as a consultant?
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay! Or PBO getting David Agius in as a consultant?
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay! Or PBO getting David Agius in as a consultant?
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay!
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay!
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay!
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay!
Christian Thorn
No money, no ideas, must have gotten the left offs cheap off e-bay!
FOR THE ATTENTION OF GONZIPN RE OTHER EVENTS THAT HAPPENED IN 1979: USSR Invades Afghanistan; Salt II arms limitation Talks signed by US and USSR ; 63 Americans are taken hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran; 400 Armed Sunni Islamic Muslims, seize the Grand Mosque in Mecca taking pilgrims present for the annual hajj hostage. The crisis ends after two weeks and more than 250 dead; The Dictator Idi Amin is deposed in Uganda; Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country; The first British nudist beach is established in Brighton; GOOGLE SEARCH WILL DEFINITELY HELP!
Min ghadu ma nbidilx tal-Labour jew gonzipn ??
Stephen Ferrante
Joseph Mizzi
PN is just reminding us of what it was like living under the MLP. If MLP is in power Muscat will have no say and the power will be handled by Karmenu Vella, Leo Brincat, Charlie Buhagiar, Joe Debono Grech, Sciberras Tregona! everyone remembers how it used to be. you don't have to go that far back. In 1996 when MLP was in power every one remember what difficulties the Employee and the employers had to go thru because Alfred Sanat introduced CEt instead of Vat and with all of the promises by MLP if they are in power the only one's suffering will be us because to keep up he has to introduce some other tax like the 22 new kinds of taxes introduced by alfred sant in his first budget. Who is in the past PN or MLP?
peppi x
So the Natonalist Party, who is always criticizing the Labour Party about what they term as lack of proposals, is basing its propaganda not on what they are proposing for the future but on scaremongering and repeating at nausea m what happened in the past and not planning for the future. After all the way this party copied a 33 year old billboard confirms that fresh ideas are lacking.
Since we are all living to-day and not a generation ago, it would be more fitting for the poster to read "6,7000 ifittxu ix-xoghol. Il-lum, taht Gonzipn."
m borg
Replies to this billboard are already appearing on FB. [url][/url] Copying does not neccessarily mean you get the right answers. gonzipn should have asked David Agius if copying can get you into trouble. Run out of ideas and still b elieve they can lead the country.
Polly Bonello
Was it David Agius - who is experienced in copying-who came with this stuck in the past billboard?
Polly Bonello
Was it David Agius - who is experienced in copying-who came with this stuck in the past billboard?
Eric Camilleri
Partit minghajr idejat!!! Copy cats!! Bilhaqq mhux bilfors hemm xi hadd minnhom jirraprezenthom fil-Parlament ihobb jaghmila din!!! Tghid fittex xi ftit hu sabiex isir id-design tal-bilboards?????????
omar attard
gvern vera tal baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
Joe Muscat
Din zgur bicca xoghol ta David Agius , wara kollox imdorri jikkopja :)
Joe Smith
Does the poster mean that if THEY find out you're a Labour Party supporter you'll find it very difficult to find a job?
Il-PN ghandu grupp ta strategija A1. Ikkoppja u erga ikkopja. Din mhix xi idea tal-whip Agius hux? Mohhom dejjem fil-passat. Pawlu Borg Olivier u shabu jistghu jmorru jsaqqu l-hass tal-Marsa ghax ghalekk kapaci.
Donna Parnis
LOL how low can Gonzi PN go, they steal our money and now they steal UKs old bill boards. Soooooooo funny.
Patrick Grixti
Indeed impressive, if only the PN have a track record on empty promises. Go tell this to the Go and Airmalta employees, Drydocks and all. The stats and FACTS speak for themselves. Only recently the gov figures were dismissed. Where are the 20k new employment dear Gonzi! One last comment, this may bound to backfire... Obama DID get elected!
godwin scerri
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