Tag Archives: Labour

Labour No To AV launches No to Clegg push

Labour NO to AV has announced the names of 375 Labour Party councillors from across Britain who will be voting no to the Alternative Vote on 5 May.The names are featured in a full page ad in the Guardian today. The campaign is also launching a three point leaflet, simple message: “No to a Lib Dem fix. No to Nick Clegg. No to AV”. Read more on Labour No To AV launches No to Clegg push…

Tory blogger Iain Dale features Gordon Brown as Hitler

It hasn’t taken very long for Conservative Party supporters to take the election fight online into the gutter. Last weeek we saw spoof posters of asylum seekers cropping up, but featuring Gordon Brown as Adolf Hitler as Tory blogger Iain Dale has done goes far beyond anything that is even remotely acceptable.

There is nothing to justify use of a man who exterminated more than six million people and started a world war leading to the deaths of many millions more with Gordon Brown.

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Labour spoofers hit latest Tory campaign

The Tories can not stop shooting themselves in foot. The Mydavidcameron.com website “airbrushed for change” is back again with more online spoofs as the Tories launch their latest marketing campaign, which attempts to portray voters who are switching allegiance.

It was a classic gift to bloggers and Labour supporters online. The posters use the tagline “I’ve never voted Tory before…”, which has quickly been changed to “I’ve never voted Tory before because…”. Oh where do you begin.

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Labour bloggers keep spoofing Cameron (because he deserves it)

Labour bloggers struck last week and spoofed the airbrushed David Cameron ad that launched the Conservative Party’s election campaign and they are back with fresh spoofing including one detailing his plans for the BBC.

There are some great new spoofs out there and you can even make your own should you so choose. You can download the template here.

Read more on Labour bloggers keep spoofing Cameron (because he deserves it)…

Labour Party to use ‘Against the Odds’ film in election fight

The New Statesman reports that the Labour Party is to use the short ‘Against the odds’ film as part of its effort to fight the next election after a campaign by bloggers.

It’s a short history of the Labour movement and is stirring stuff. It begins with the words: “It’s the fighters and believers who change our world” with nods to party hero’s like Nye Bevan; a mention of Cable Street and the fight against fascism; the formation of the NHS; the fight against Apartheid; and the creation of the minimum wage. All those moments are in there right up to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

The film goes onto say that “this history of Britain is the story of fighting for the right thing against the odds”.

The campaign to get the film adopted was pushed by bloggers including Ellie Gellard on her The Stilettoed Socialist site (“Squashing Tory Trolls”).

Nice work, take a look.

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Labour Party website not found so lacking (after all)

There’s some research out this week saying that the Labour Party’s policies scored poorly on Google search. This would be an issue demanding urgent attention if the research had not been skewed.

An election is rolling into view. It’s going to be very interesting. Digital will no doubt play a key role in that fight and examining how well the political parties are prepared can be informative, but what has been served up this week by research firm Tamar is too basic and mechanical to be of real value. It failed to dig deep and showed the weakness of robotic research in terms of search.

Tamar’s Political Search Index was designed to workout how easy it is for voters to find official policy information from the mainstream political parties online via Google and party websites. The results show the Labour Party trailing badly behind the Conservatives and the others.

It found that for a number of key policy areas including defence, environment and pensions, no content from the Labour Party’s website Labour.org.uk appears in the first five pages of Google results.

On initial examination that could be quite damning…but Tamar’s research only hold’s up if you search for the term “Labour” and “defence” or “Labour” and “environment” if you happen to search for “Labour Party” and either of the above then the results are at the top and thus rendering null and void Tamar’s conclusions.

Here’s the thing: “labour” is a term to describe giving birth and workers and so when it comes to search any half smart person isn’t going to combine the terms “labour” “tax”, or “labour” “hospitals” as this like Tamar says returns useless results. However, using the term Labour Party makes more sense and returns more intelligent/useful results (the aim right?).

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Brown boosts his social media reputation

It isn’t all bad news for Gordon Brown. Those chumps at News International (my word of the day) might have dumped him, but his keynote speech at Labour Party Conference did much to improve his social media reputation and hit back at some of the negative coverage.

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Gordon Brown needs to consider his social media reputation

Following on from Friday’s post on Labour’s Twitter lead, research says that Gordon Brown has a lot of ground to make up with Britain’s 30m online social network users as he looks to make his keynote speech at the Labour Party conference this week.

Of course, his social media reputation is not the only thing he and Labour needs (a fight back would be nice, but not the place).

Social media agency Yomego carried out a Social Media Reputation audit (a new service it is launching) of the Prime Minister’s online reputation looking across the spectrum at Facebook, Bebo, Myspace, Twitter and YouTube alongside other social spaces such as blogs, comments, ratings, reviews and user-generated content.

While the party might have more MPs Twittering and engaging with social media, David Cameron’s reputation in the world of Twitter, Facebook and the blogging community is ranked 20 points higher, which is of course ironic give what he thinks for instance of Twitter (“Too many twits might make a twat.”) although he really should come clean about Facebook as well (I’m just sitting here drumming my fingers waiting for that one).

Out of a possible 100, the Prime Minister scores 42.59 in the audit, which measures the volume and newness of social media chatter and whether it is positive or negative.

To be honest the recent week’s that Brown has been having that is almost better than expected. From here on out, and with his speech this week, the party and Brown have to get that higher.

According to Yomego, in Brown’s case there was lots of noise, but opinion was almost universally unenthusiastic with his “sentiment” score lower than that achieved by British National Party leader Nick Griffin (seriously? I find that hard to believe, but that is what the agency says).

Tory leader David Cameron rated a score of 62.49 with the level of noise on social media networks achieving similar volume and recency to the PM, but the overall sentiment rating more than three times better than his Labour counterpart. Well the Tories are between 13 and 15 points ahead in the polls depending on who you look at so that is going to happen.

A ray of light for Brown comes from the Liberal Democrat who should be soaking up the anti Brown/Labour chatter, but while leader Nick Clegg scores a respectable 54.13 he is let down by a low noise rating. You mean no one is talking Clegg? Apparently he is not exactly inspiring the Lib Dems to new heights as the party’s recent conference appeared to demonstrate (either that or Lib Dems don’t chatter/make much noise in social media).

Steve Richards, MD of Yomego, says that the audits carried out so far have underlined how important it is for brands (political parties) to manage that social media noise and sentiment around them.

“The noise around your brand may be deafening but if that noise is overwhelmingly negative, its reputation will suffer real damage. Conversely, if positive sentiment about your brand is drowned out by your competitors, you won’t see the benefits.

“For politicians, with nearly 30m people in the UK alone regularly using a social network, social media reputation is an important barometer for measuring whether their message is getting through and how it’s being received. That’s particularly true as we enter the party conference season and all parties start gearing up for a general election next year.”

Other stuff thrown up by the audit, but not strictly earth shattering (but here you are) are the high scores achieved by Barack Obama who scored 77.79 (shocker – he is the social media king, or president as he likes to be known) and French Premier Nicolas Sarkozy achieving 66.15. Does he Twitter? Do the French? I’m sure they do, but weirdly I don’t think I have ever followed/been followed by someone from across the channel. The rest of Europe yes, France no.

I digress, um here’s a bit of how they did the Social Media Reputation audit, which Yomego says is a first measurement system combining quantity and quality, with insight and will be officially launched at Mipcom 2009 (5th – 9th October).

 The result is a total score out of 100, representing an average of the level and freshness of noise generated and the nature and recency of sentiment behind what’s being expressed.

[Twitter]

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Labour Party out in front on Twitter

Things might not be going spectacular well for Labour, but when it comes to engaging on Twitter the party is way out in front showing how some of its MPs have taken to effectively harnessing the micro blogging service.

As if to confirm it I picked up this piece of research via Labour MP and Twitter user Tom Watson. Research showed that nearly 67% of all MPs that Twitter belong to Labour with the Liberal Democrats on 18% and the Tories who despite all their talk on 12% (no surprise maybe given David Camerson’s own goal comments recently).

Digital strategy in the next general will count more than ever with blogs, Twitter and social networks playing and ever larger role. Maybe not quite in the way that we saw in the 2008 presidential election for Barack Obama (the scale is so different), but it is going to be important.

That’s why it is such good news to see how Labour has taken to Twitter. What it does next will in part be down to Kerry McCarthy the Labour MP recently appointed as the party’s Twitter tsar (or is that czar?).

It’s going to be her job to co-ordinate Labour’s online presence and help Labour MPs, candidates and supporters use what’s available in the best possible way to try and stop Cameron getting elected (if the election was on Twitter Labour would have no problem – as Tweetminister research showed earlier this week).

One of those tasks that McCarthy is no doubt working on is getting those MPs already tweeting to tweet more often. As Labour might lead the race, but only 51 MPs are classed as regular Twitter users (out of a total of 645: poor) by the joint Plymouth and Bournemouth University research.

Although some of those who are tweeting on a regular basis are big names including: Ed Balls, secretary of state for children, schools and families; BBC basher Ben Bradshaw, secretary for culture, media and sport.

Read more on Labour Party out in front on Twitter…

Draper and the collateral damage to the blogosphere

Not many tears will be shed over the departure of Derek Draper as editor of LabourList, but his exit leaves the Labour Party with a question that can not be easily answered.

The Today Programme this morning called the blogosphere “the Tories’ most potent weapon” and it is right, but in a identifying this it also underscored something about the nature of the blogosphere.

The best political blogs are not created by party apparatchiks, by political hacks like Derek Draper who has long had friends in high political places in the Labour Party, but by a collection of individuals outside of party structures and operations.

LabourList, Derek Draper’s effort was not always destined to fail, but it might very well do so. Death by association is not an uncommon affliction in political circles in the wake of the Smeargate scandal and the effort to create a blog called The Red Rag to spread malicious stories about Tory politicians.

Look to the United States and Huffington Post on the liberal left or the Drudge Report on the right. Neither of these are organs or creations of the Democrat and Republican parties respectively.

Closer to home, look at Guido Fawkes, the conduit if not the architect of Derek Draper’s downfall. He is a blogger of the right, Tory supporting, but sits well outside the party.

Tim Montgomerie’s ConservativeHome blog, which Derek Draper looked to when creating LabourList, was not a party creation and has a critical eye when it comes to the Tory Party.

Elsewhere on the left blogs like Harry’s Place, have Labour supporters among their ranks, but no more than that.

I am sure that is the reason these blogs have survived and grown.

Derek Draper was always too much the insider. He was not jut an insider, but the insider’s insider. A long time wheeler dealer who had been rubbing shoulders with Labour MPs and inner circles from his time as a student stalking NUS conferences.

With all of that access came much baggage and on both occasions it is this that has brought him down, both in this 2009 Smeargate scandal and in 1998 in the Lobbygate scandal where he was caught on tape boasting about how he could sell access to government ministers.

To be successful, scratch that, to be useful to a cause or party that you support it appears to me that it is obligatory to sit outside to be effective and have that necessary sense of perspective.

This does not mean you can not have links and associations with that party or cause. That’s all well and good, just don’t step into the inner circle.

With an election a year away this incident leaves Labour groping somewhat digitally in the dark lacking the “potent weapon” that the Tories have (I think stumbled upon). This is not a pretty situation to be in.

Read more on Draper and the collateral damage to the blogosphere…

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