With the way that Ryanair posts political memes on social media, there is the chance that decades down the line, this will be looked back on in academic history.
For the last few years, the Irish low-cost carrier has been well-known for ripping into politicians, especially when they are thrown out of the door.
What I want to ask is: Like with your typical tabloid cartoons, could Ryanair’s political memes be looked back on in history through educational institutions?
Some of Ryanair’s Political Memes…
Ryanair has been keen on utilizing social media to attack certain politicians following resignations, amongst other situations, and rightly so when they have not performed properly.
The latest example used was based on the now-former UK Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, who resigned on Friday following the conclusion of an inquiry into his management practices.
Such a caption, “The threshold is so low,” is a jibe handed out by Ryanair over the quality of politicians there currently is within the Conservative Government.
To further understand and answer this question, we will need to look back at political history and also the nature of such cartoons that we normally see in the newspapers.
Take this cartoon, for example.
This is aimed at a period when ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was running for Prime Minister, where the cartoonist portrayed the idea that if you vote for the now ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, you will get BREXIT, which was seen as a bad thing at the time.
The other side of the cartoon highlights the point that if Corbyn got into power, then that would be bad for the UK.
It is cartoons like this that will be etched into UK political history for decades to come, and the same would apply to Ryanair’s use of memes. It is effectively a digital cartoon.
We will come more to this at the end, but in the context of Ryanair, this needs to be established further.
The Irish Low-Cost Carrier & Its Sustained Attacks Within UK Politics…
The Irish low-cost carrier hasn’t been shying away from taking on governments across Europe, especially the UK.
Within the UK, the main two things that Ryanair has attacked the government for are Air Passenger Duty Tax (APD), as well as BREXIT itself.
Earlier this week, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary was seen at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway stating that when old Brexiteers die, the young will take the UK back into the EU.
He also dubbed Boris Johnson and his BREXIT cohort “delusional”.
As a result of BREXIT, Ryanair had to adopt different business practices to ensure they were compliant within the UK, which included the creation of Ryanair UK.
As reported in 2019 by IFN, this subsidiary was created in the event that a no-deal scenario occurred during the BREXIT talks.
The other area, as mentioned, was the Air Passenger Duty Tax, which the Irish low-cost carrier is not a fan of.
Back on March 31, it was announced that the UK Government would, in fact, slash domestic APD by 50%, which resulted in the creation of nine new UK domestic routes.
However, this wasn’t enough for Ryanair, as they called for a complete abolishment of the tax to promote tourism and support job growth and “much-needed connectivity to the UK”.
So with this in mind, it can be seen as understandable why Ryanair is taking on the UK Government on a daily basis and goes as far as mocking them for policies that hinder the aviation sector.
So, with this context in mind, it remains clear that the use of memes on Ryanair’s social media will be used in educational history in the decades to come.
Memes are effectively the new newspaper cartoons. As print media continues to deteriorate, this is what students will use for research and essay composition. And that is just down to adjustment with the times.
As a tactic by Ryanair, it’s a powerful tool, as it can turn its passengers against local governments to fight their fight, and countless times, it has worked.
Such indirect pressure like this is going to be key for political lobbying going into the future. And that is what Ryanair is banking on.