Entire Conservative Party Web Archive Still Available

Missing reading old George Osborne speeches about the moral case for low taxes? Or the one when he promised to raise the inheritance tax threshold? Have no fear, they are all still available from the British Library – including the 2006 to 2010 Cameron opposition period:

Click to see Conservatives.com website archive
Guido is of course too modest to mention who else they record for posterity…

Brown’s “Engagement” Agenda

Jackie Ashley has a gushing interview with Gordon in the Guardian this morning where we learn that he really loves being called Prime Minister* and that
“Brown believes the days of political parties as ‘small organisations of people who are accused of talking to themselves’ are over. In future, constituency parties will become local hubs, building links with other networks and groups, and using new technology to reach out way beyond their usual supporters… There are so many different forms of communication – writing, phoning, the internet – at the moment we’re not doing enough to keep people informed and to show people that when they have a view, we’re prepared to listen to them.”
Over at GordonBrown.Org, free from civil service restrictions, and even the old clunking party bureaucracy, he shows us the actual proof of the sincerity of his internet “engagement agenda”.

How is he doing at keeping people informed about his exciting campaign-hub-network-thingy for Britain? Well their feeble copy of the original Where’s Gordon? has only 4 reports of his whereabouts in 20 days, the original managed daily updates. The thousands of votes for a discussion on the NHS are ignored, there is no discussion. The whole site is as dead as wooden rocking horse, it is an ex-listening, ex-campaigning website. His whole “engaging online” guff is all bullshit, he doesn’t need to win votes so the whole need to engage is just tiresome. Guido knows WebCameron and WebGordon is no WebCameron.

Gordon now has no need to listen, no need to engage, no need to win a mandate from his party or the wider electorate. He will assume power and we will just have to lump it.

*In under a month the preciousss will be his, the sun will be darkened across the land and the English will be cursed with a new Scottish tyranny. Probably.

Where Does Dave Find His Campaigners?

So when you need a replacement to run WebCameron where do you advertise? Obviously someone ideologically sympatico is required to run an enthusiastic hard-hitting campaign. So advertise in the Guardian. Doh!

WebCam-Man Deleted

Sam Roake, formerly the Head of Web Campaigning at CCHQ, has left the building. He is keeping tight-lipped about the reasons why, as is CCHQ. Presumably there has been a falling out since as far as Guido can determine he has not got another job to go to.

Last week they quietly re-launched the WebCameron site, it is actually a step backwards technically from the one Roake created. It now focuses on Dave’s Diary (tip: make the posts shorter and more often Dave, like errm, Dale’s Diary). It has a forum which is based on off-the-shelf software. Gone is that pesky “Ask Dave”, gone is the uploading of user generated content, gone is all the cutting edge stuff.

WebCameron now has all the capability and cutting edge cheap look and feel of the LibDem Youth and Students website but with videos. In short it is a step backwards. Simple geeky details like the RSS feeds changing without warning meant that subscribers didn’t notice, they just stopped getting their feeds, Guido didn’t notice any email warning either. Sloppy.

The Tories are now looking to hire a replacement, with a wish-list of abilities that are much in demand in the Clerkenwell-Soho hot-spots of the Web 2.0 mini-bubble. Rishi Saha, of Pimp-My-Party fame, is searching for a Tory leaning geek. Roake won’t be unemployed for long.

UPDATE : Guido now understands that Roake has received offers already. Bubble 2.0 is definitely out of Beta.

Gove “Doing Immense Harm”

So says David Cameron, or at least that is the inference to be made from his blog about the use of the term “Islamist terrorists”.

It’s hard to over-emphasise the importance of language. I know it sounds like a side issue, but it isn’t. We are just not getting this right. Every time the BBC or a politician talks about “Islamist terrorists” they are doing immense harm..

Gove’s book, Celsius 7/7, refers to “Islamist terrorists” on almost every page. Guido has only read the reviews and very mixed they were. Guido’s strategy for dealing with the clash of civilisations utilises iPods, mini-skirt clad girls, Playboy, Jack Daniels & Coca Cola, Sony PlayStations and Ferraris in a kulturkampf to convince disaffected young male muslims of the superior attractions of Western values. Not sure if Gove advocated that kind of hearts and minds strategy, but it would be much more effective than lessons in civics or whatever it is that Blunkett and Reid advocate. Which strikes Guido as fundamentally misunderstanding the primal motivations of disaffected young males…

WebCameron 2.0

“And frankly, there are many aspects of our society today which are hardly inspiring – the drinking, the drug-taking, the rudeness and incivility, the lack of consideration for others, anti-social behaviour…” So says Dave, not about the Bullingdon Society, but about British society, on his new Webcameron site.

The new site gets rid of that innovative Ask Dave feature – which although over-run with cranks going on about 9/11, did get Dave to answer questions from ordinary webmongs. Out too goes the ability to upload your own videos and images, and in comes a forum – which will generate some traffic because people love to argue.

It is not exactly cutting edge, in fact the old site was more advanced. Maybe that doesn’t matter, they just want to get more traffic than Guido or Iain. Perhaps they should try some totty? Maybe a CCHQ girl/ boy of the week. Are you reading this CCHQ?

Open Source Osborne

George Osborne gave a talk this morning to a crowd of mainly public sector geeks assembled by the RSA – the notable exceptions that Guido spotted being Bryan Appleyard, Adriana Cronin-Lukas, the Doughty Street crowd and the WebCameron team.

Osborne banged the drum for the government switching to Open Source and, although he didn’t say it explicitly, abandoning Microsoft. The comparitive imagery is very potent, the Tories are the Google party (“Do no evil”) to New Labour’s Microsoft party (“Evil Corp.”).

Online libertarians have a gut suspicion of the Microsoft/New Labour alliance, when Big Software meets Big Government one thing you can be sure about – we’re going to get screwed financially. So Osborne is obviously hanging out with the right kind of geeks nowadays.

Ask Dave : Repeat

By a large margin the question WebCameron users most want answered by Dave this week is: who is paying for WebCameron? Before Christmas Dave gave a load of flannel about being all for transparency. He then avoided answering the question as to who is behind his mysterious millions. So this week the question has been posed again, who is ultimately and opaquely behind these mysterious offshore lenders? Arms dealers?

An honest democracy can’t have political parties funded by shadowy hidden manipulators. Voters are entitled to know who is financing the party they are considering voting for, they can then judge for themselves their motives and their influence on the party. That is not too much to ask of Dave, is it?



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