Zack Exley, Kerry’s former online guru and veteran of MoveOn.Org might be to the left of Mao, but he does know how to lay out an email with a simple clear message. The Tories mix up boring speeches and pictures with irrelevant links. The LibDems usually have a boring shopping list of policy headline links with no graphics.
“We’re looking forward to Mr. Exley leading Tony Blair to the same electoral outcome as he did John Kerry,” Fox says hopefully. But from what Guido is hearing from Tory candidates he would not be so sure. Compared to Zack’s crisp graphics and messages, the Tory propaganda material, according to a Tory activist source, is produced by “headless chickens” at campaign HQ. To Guido the pleasant Victoria Street HQ does look a bit like a crèche for gap-year girls and boys. Lynton Crosby is a formidable street fighting campaigner, so is remaining party vice-chairman Andrew Rosindell, but the nice young girls and boys have never won a battle, some have never even been in the trenches before. Voter Vault might be the Tory’s Death Star software system, but it is untested in Britain. When the official campaign goes into overdrive, New Labour won’t be pretty to watch, but they will be mercilessly effective.