Exclusive: 94% of conference attendees took Winslet picture seriously

There was further embarrassment for the party this morning as it emerged that a vast majority of grassroots attendees had taken seriously the “evidence” of this picture of Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet in the conference brochure:

Kate Winslet

Over seven of the nine people quizzed by Lib Dem Voice’s roving reporters on Saturday morning in the exhibition hall at the Harrogate Conference Centre had taken the picture at face value, and assumed that Winslet had attended the Lib Dem Council Awards event held by the party every year.

“I must say I was tickled pink to learn from this picture that she’s a supporter,” said Richard Twoflower, 54, a member from West Sale and Urmston local party, “Winslet is a very popular actress following her recent Oscar win and it’s great to see her associated with the party like this. Hopefully we can now piggy-back on her success.”

Hetty Vimes, 42, vice-chair of Morchard Bishop and Mid Devon local party, agreed: “Kate is a fabulous English star and I’m just so pleased she took time out to attend the Lib Dem Local Government Awards. Who’d have thought it?”

Asked how she thought it was possible for Winslet to have been photographed at awards that had yet to happen when the brochure went to press, Hetty replied, “Well, they can do awfully clever things with computers now, can’t they. I don’t think that’s any reason to doubt the veracity of the picture.”

Others were more puzzled about the picture’s origins. Colin Ridcully of Surrey Forest, 39, pondered, “I wonder where they got the red carpet from? I’ve certainly never seen anyone in a floor-length evening gown walking along a red carpet at a Lib Dem conference before!” But he conceded that “perhaps I’ve just been going to the wrong fringe events. The camera never lies, after all.”

In actual fact, party officials had doctored the picture to show apparently Lib Dem banners behind a genuine picture of Winslet at the recent Golden Globe Awards, in a shocking new technique known as “photochopping”.

Tom Vetinari, one of the bright young things (27) at the party’s press office, defended the technique: “I think it’s great for us to be at the technological cutting edge. We really fooled everyone with this caper! And of course, we knew we could rely on the press to get the message out. Originally only about a thousand people – mostly members – who received the brochure  as part of their conference packs would have seen our mocked-up Winslet picture. Now, thanks to the Mail’s and Independent’s coverage, hundreds of thousands have seen it!”

He did however concede one flaw in the party’s plan – “We shouldn’t have used the tagline ‘Winning  can be emotional’ under the picture. I now realise that people might have looked at that and thought we were making a humorous play on the fact that Winslet made an emotional speech at the Golden Globes, and using it as an ironic teaser for our own far-less-glamorous event.  Still, I think we got away with it!”

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17 Comments

  • I heard she got wrapped up in a fringe meeting on site value rating and didn’t make it to the awards in the end

  • Sigh. Sometimes I think some party members just aren’t on the same planet as the rest of us. They probably think the world is flat, too.

  • Alix Mortimer 9th Mar '09 - 3:44pm

    So far that’s Labour troll 1 – Tory troll a resounding nil. 😀

    Come on, Daily Fail, bite, bite!

  • I understand Lord Bonkers will be submitting a written question in the Upper House. He had naturally believed that Ms Winslet was the prize and had been lobbying hard for Rutland South West District Council to be given the top award, so that he could take her home and feed her to the Rutland Water Monster.

  • Squirrel Nutkin 9th Mar '09 - 5:33pm

    Her Majesty’s Press have blatantly failed to uphold their exacting investigative standards! Where are the two infallible signifiers of Liberalism?

    I suppose there is the possibility that she may be wearing sandals beneath her frock, but can you see her beard? I rest my case!

  • Martin Land 9th Mar '09 - 6:42pm

    I don’t suppose somebody can actually tell us the results of the awards can they?

  • The Professor 9th Mar '09 - 8:40pm

    Loved the article. Such satire.
    94% of LDV readers CAN be taken in!

    Only when I got to Surrey Forest did I realise that something did not compute!

  • But seriosuly folks –
    it doesn’t half make us look like a bunch of amateurs.
    Isn’t there anyone with the savvy to realize you can’t just use people’s photos like this – it make one despair!

  • Matthew Huntbach 9th Mar '09 - 9:38pm

    Who is Kate Winslet and why should I care?

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