Observations Medicine and the Media

I was an election poster boy

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2190 (Published 28 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2190
  1. Quentin Shaw, general practitioner, Telford, Shropshire
  1. quentin.shaw{at}nhs.net

    As an unemployed junior doctor Quentin Shaw unknowingly became the star of Labour’s election posters in 1983

    In the spring of 1983 I was temporarily unemployed between junior doctor jobs. An acquaintance suggested that I meet some colleagues of her husband, who might pay me to work as a model. I was intrigued.

    At the glamorous advertising agency they told me about a big public service trade union’s plan to run a campaign about the evils of cutting public spending. One poster was to highlight unemployment among professionals, and they thought it prudent to use real people as photographic models. I would need only to be unemployed on the day of the photograph. They showed me a sketch of the poster, which showed four unemployed mugs, and told me that the photographer was to be Lord Snowdon. I laughed out loud at the thought of the Queen’s brother in law working for the National Association of Local Government Officers (NALGO).

    Snowdon’s studio was at his home in Kensington. As requested, I took with me a white coat and a stripy tie. The art director and …

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