John McDonnell's pledge that a Labour government would deliver "socialism with an iPad" has been compared to Ed Miliband's disastrous 'Ed Stone' as people liken the idea to something from 'The Thick Of It'.
The shadow chancellor's offer to those working in the so-called "gig economy" of casual internet-based work was somewhat eclipsed by reaction to his bizarre choice of slogan.
An official Labour Party campaign image depicts the strap line emblazoned upon one of the Apple devices.
McDonnell's attempts to distil his new policy idea around the popular touch screen device also prompted a comparison with an scene from the BBC sitcom which sees ministers launch a hi-tech jobs initiative named 'App Britain'.
McDonnell delivered details of his vision for the economy in a Jeremy Corbyn-led Britain during a speech at Imperial College, London.
He spoke of his desire to reintroduce worker participation in management as well as to promote steady levels of infrastructure investment.
The shadow chancellor said that London would be to technology what it is to financial services, and that workers in casual jobs made possible by the internet would receive greater protection in their employment under a Labour government.
Nonetheless, the headline-grabbing phrase used by Labour was mocked as being a kin to the Miliband monolith unveiled during this year's general election campaign.
John McDonnell's "socialism with an iPad" is risky, doesn't he remember what happened with Ed_Miliband's "Milipad"? pic.twitter.com/gvvODeUMgv— Asa Bennett (@asabenn) November 20, 2015
And judging by reaction, the slogan has well and truly backfired.
@johnmcdonnellMP This is gloriously rubbish. App Britain!— Robert Cocking (@RobCocking) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP Jesus H, this is real Thick Of It territory.— bish (@bishblaize) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP Can you honestly imagine one of the old, creaking socialist economies coming up with iPads?— John Bargh (@jfbargh) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP This phrase sounds like a tabloid smear – drop it pronto— Weihnachtsliebhaber (@josephcorcoran) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP Ha I love you John but do not go with this as a slogan.— Ned Hercock (@MnWthtQualities) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP can I have the number of your drug dealer, sounds like you have some good gear— Save Tameside (@SaveTameside) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP So you are specifically endorsing one global multi national company? "Tablet device" would be more appropriate.— Johnny J (1840) (@melody_player) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP Going out on a limb here, but this may just be something of a PR mistake...— Nick Spalding (@NickSpalding) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP what would workers in a Chinese iPad factory make of this slogan, do you think?— haynesc (@haynesc) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP Just need to stop looking for clever soundbites, just leave them to the Tories and the Blairites. No more Chukaisms— Harrumph (@textmaniacal) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP christ on a 🚴🏼 - and you're surprised no one has a clue what your party represents....— Pol (@polpolpol85) November 20, 2015
@johnmcdonnellMP vulture capitalist Steve Jobs is smiling approvingly— terrorist supporter (@BaconHameron) November 20, 2015
It's also prompted a series of memes.
Socialism, but with a Nokia 3310. pic.twitter.com/DAqLmG7CC8— Marcus Bernasconi (@westofcentral) November 20, 2015
Socialism with an ipad. pic.twitter.com/Kxpm8FumDd— Brian Spagarry (@BrianSpanner1) November 20, 2015
Socialism, but with sadness in his eyes. pic.twitter.com/UuPsxAjCAK— David Whitley (@mrdavidwhitley) November 20, 2015
Socialism with an ipad. pic.twitter.com/BcH2NDVTWA— Brian Spagarry (@BrianSpanner1) November 20, 2015
Further evidence that McDonnell's message appeared to be lost came from members of the media.
John McDonnell calls in a speech today for socialism with an iPad, as opposed to socialism without an iPad or an iPad without socialism.— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) November 20, 2015
As expected, socialism with an owl is storming ahead of its iPad alternative among Twitter. pic.twitter.com/3nDQrFkVLO— Asa Bennett (@asabenn) November 20, 2015
John McDonnell has unveiled his economic policy, saying it's "Socialism with an iPad" pic.twitter.com/XfYMA2enFF— Record Politics (@Record_Politics) November 20, 2015
And perhaps unsurprisingly, the Sun newspaper's head of PR was quick to compare Labour's new strap line to Apple's UK tax record.
Amusing that John McDonnell should choose the Apple brand name 'iPad' for his new brand of socialism... pic.twitter.com/jl7QlnweGp— Dylan Sharpe (@dylsharpe) November 20, 2015
Labour appears to have come late to the tablet trend, however, with sales of Apple's iPads over the last three months falling to their lowest level since 2011.
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