Over at the New Statesman Dan Hodges has confirmed that the cat is out of the bag and revealed the most obvious online conspiracy. Namely that the leading left-wing blogs coordinate their strategy and attack lines with Miliband’s office. As Guido pointed out during their NetRoots circle jerk last weekend, it is blindingly obvious that this is going on.
A line is pushed out across the tame loyal blogs in the hope that it will be taken up in the mainstream press.
Ed Miliband’s new blog-spinner, Alex Smith, former editor of LabourList and protege of Derek Draper, is not just Ed’s Twitterer-in-Chief. He is being credited by Hodges for the coordination strategy in his role as head of the Labour online-rebuttal team. Left Foot Forward and Political Scrapbook seem fully signed up to the plan and are now regularly taking Smith’s copy. Old timers like the more independently minded Sunder Katwala of Next Left and the less reliable “nutroots” – like the Liberal Conspiracy crowd – row in when need be. The New Statesman’s Mehdi Hassan is also on the emailed briefings list – one of which Guido has seen. Labour Uncut, the bastion of Sion Simon, benefits from Tom Watson’s research team’s resources yet seems less willing to join the circle-jerk and is all the more readable for it.
What will it achieve? Guido is not convinced that collectively following “lines to take” does them any good. When you are spoon fed something it usually isn’t that interesting – if it were it wouldn’t have to be pushed. Readers want original content, hard news, not echoes…
UPDATE : Former Labour spin-doctor emails, “fair enough for Labour to try to spin them but they’ll soon realise that the ones who come up with the best analysis get the most readers / invites to appear on TV etcectera. At least one hopes they soon realise that.”