In an election deluging swing marginal constituencies with glossy lies, this leaflet from Andrew Bridgen currently dropping on doormats in North West Leicestershire stands out. Expect a Conservative hold. The Guidoisation of politics continues…
Boris has joined Twitter and picked up 10,000 followers in a matter of hours. Free from the shackles of his official Mayor of London account – run by City Hall civil servants – BoJo is promising it’s really him:
What could go wrong…
The parliamentary rules for MPs’ social media use during the election campaign could not be clearer:
“If your website, Twitter account, Facebook page etc. refer to you as an MP (on their pages or in the address or in the handle) make sure you have either set up alternatives to use from Monday 30th March at 00:01 until polling day, or frozen the account, or published the necessary disclaimer making it clear you are not an MP during the Dissolution period.”
Yet as of 10:35am this morning, the Twitter bio of Labour campaign chief Lucy Powell still referred to her as an MP:
Within minutes of Guido politely pointing this out, “MP” had been quietly changed to “candidate”.
Yet, in a display of Powell’s winning judgement, she summoned all of her famous deflection skills to spin that Guido was talking about her handle, @LucyMPowell, which refers to her middle name Maria, and not her bio:
You would have thought, after yesterday, she would have learnt when to put down the spade…
Guido has had some fun with centralised attempts from Labour HQ to win the online battle in the past, so imagine his joy to be invited to join their latest wheeze. This season’s Derek Draper / Damian McBride / Kerry McCarthy is tubby two fingered typer Jon Ashworth, who has emailed supporters in a bid to set up a rapid online rebuttal unit:
“We can’t outspend the Tories to rebut their smears, and we can’t rely on the media to do it for us (spoiler: they won’t). So we’re taking matters into our own hands — and that’s where you come in. We’re calling it the Labour Response Team — a team of grassroots activists fighting back by exposing the Tories’ dirty tactics and highlighting their real record. I’m looking to recruit a few thousand of Labour’s most committed members and supporters to join this new team — and I want you to be a part of it.”
In other words: we tell you what to Tweet.
Amusingly Ashworth breaks the first rule of firefighting in the first line of his call to arms email. Never, ever, repeat the charge:
“The Tories have a plan to win this election…”
It’s fitting though. Labour’s entire campaign so far – from the ‘a better plan’ slogan down – has been totally reactive.