The Tangled Web of Political PR

18 01 2009

s_spider-2Political parties around the world are tracing the steps of Barack Obama into the world of social media.  Few more so than the Labour Party in the UK.

The Labour Party is currently Beta testing a site called Labourlist.Org a quasi official Labour blog ‘Where Labour minded people come together’.

This is just the first element in a campaign plan that will have an ‘Obama-style virtual phone bank for Labour campaigners’, ministers appearing on forums, viral campaigns and a Labour Party HQ blog.  

Spearheading the initiative is erstwhile Mandelson acolyte and strategist (now turned psychotherapist) Derek Draper.  Draper is best known for the ‘Lobbygate’ scandal of 1998 when he allegedly offered ‘cash for access’ to leading Labour politicians.  The new Labour initiative demonstrates a very savvy approach to social media but in the tangled web of politics it appears that the black arts may still be at work.   I’m sure Derek Draper will one day embrace the Californian style openness of the social web but on Friday he was using his Twitter stream to direct people to the bogus Twitter of  ‘David_Camera_on’. 

Mr Draper had done well to spot this bogus Twitter as it only had three followers at the time – one was the official ‘Downing Street’ Twitter, presumably no stranger to the social web policy of the party and another was Greg Jackson who runs Tangent One, the company that built the site for Labour List.  So how would Draper and two Labour social media insiders know about it so quickly? Weird that.

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3 responses

19 01 2009
Guido Fawkes

Civil servants in Downing Street involved in black ops propaganda. Tsk,tsk.

19 01 2009
Kate Hughes

And haven’t they got better things to be doing? The whole point of social media is it can be used as a tool for positive change, engaging people at every level. Setting up a fake twitter account to attack the opposition shows Labour still has a long way to go before they ‘get it’.

19 01 2009
Rob Brown

Kate, I totally agree. Derek Draper is very new to the social web and I don’t think he understands that it is bringing genuine transparency to many aspects of politics.

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