Watch the birdie but no blackbirds

Some time ago I reported that I spotted one of my photos from Flickr in a number of shops in the area advertising an event I had no problem with. To be truthful, I had a little ego trip and so wasn't too bothered about copyright issues or being asked.

Via Tim @ Bloggerheads is the story @ Newspeak of the BNP using stock image photos on their election leaflets.

I'm not claiming that the BNP is alone in doing this, but my only experience of producing a party political leaflet involved using party supporters from the local area (next to the ubiquitous councillor-pointing-to-the-problem-while-looking-at-the-camera shot) rather than photogenic pensioners and happy families.

It's perhaps natural to use 'better looking' people. Are we not mesmerized by beauty and more likely to buy Claudia Schiffer's perfume than Eau de John Prescott? (This doesn't explain people initially purchasing Jade Goody's stink juice). As one commenter noted, it could be the Susan Boyle factor.

I've often wondered about some of the attractive young girls used on the BNP's own site indicating how to pay money to Griffin and get signed copies of Rudolph Hess pictures. They have BNP logos crudely photoshopped onto their chests. I've known staunch socialists who were members of the Young Conservatives because apparently there was a better standard of...well, you get the picture.

Stock photos are usually available royalty free so the people selling their own images are essentially selling their souls without receiving any blues guitar ability. However, you wouldn't be very happy if you find that - along with ads for Choco Dog Food and Farteze Constipation Jelly, you have the embarrassment of championing a political party that has such a poor propaganda ministry.

The interesting aspect of this is that the same tactic is used at The Daily Mail to obtain its photos of 'typical' subjects. Higher taxes? Picture of nice, middle class family. Immigration? Stock photo of Sangatte.