What an excrescence

The Observer has obtained a series of Conservative party attack ads sent to voters last week in the key marginal constituency of Delyn, north Wales. Activists captured the ads using dummy Facebook accounts after finding that their own ad – encouraging young people to register to vote – were being “drowned out” by the Tory ads.

How dare they!

The Tories are actually competing with their ads.

16 comments on “What an excrescence

  1. “David Hanson, of Labour, is defending the seat in Delyn and will lose it if there is a 3.9% swing to the Tories. He said: “It feels pretty symptomatic. We’re running a local campaign, talking to people about local issues on the ground, whereas the Conservatives are using these national adverts, run at a national level, and are actively trying to suppress the turnout in a number of ways.

    “We will have to see which strategy works, but these ads are all just about negative stuff, whereas we believe people want to debate the big issues and have proper face-to-face discussions, and that’s what we’re doing.””

    But when you have those face to face discussions about the big issues, your leader ends up calling people bigots….

  2. Let me get this right …

    A bunch of amateurs with a little money and a laudable but fundamentally nebulous aim are being out-competed by a professional marketing organisation with significant funding and a well defined goal.

    And this is a surprise?

    Also, I’d note that setting up dummy Facebook accounts is against their Ts&Cs. Not something I’d admit in the national press unless I found my account(s) suspended.

  3. “He said: “It feels pretty symptomatic. We’re running a local campaign, talking to people about local issues on the ground, whereas the Conservatives are using these national adverts, run at a national level, and are actively trying to suppress the turnout in a number of ways.”

    Actually, it isn’t. Around here, the local Labour campaign is almost non-existent. The sort of people who would normally be knocking on doors and delivering leaflets are appalled by Corbyn and have left the Labour party.

  4. Well if they’re running a local campaign in a General election they’re doing it wrong.

  5. “Charlotte Gerada, who works for a charity, told the Observer that she and a friend had raised £13,000 in a few days with the idea of increasing the turnout among 18- to 25-year-olds in key marginals.

    “We looked at the seats where we thought we could make the biggest impact and created materials aimed at encouraging young people to vote. We calculated that if only half of those who clicked on the adverts decided to go out and vote Labour, we could still make a real difference.”

    Works for a ‘charity’ and wants people to vote Labour.

    “David Hanson, of Labour, is defending the seat in Delyn and will lose it if there is a 3.9% swing to the Tories. He said: “It feels pretty symptomatic. We’re running a local campaign, talking to people about local issues on the ground, whereas the Conservatives are using these national adverts, run at a national level, and are actively trying to suppress the turnout in a number of ways.”

    Ah, the same ‘voter suppression’ bullshit used by the Dems to excuse their loss.

  6. The only literature I have seen in my Conservative constituency has been from the Labour Party. It is just negative, anti Tory stuff, selling off the NHS nonsense. Any suggestion Labour are running a campaign on the “ishoos that matter” (how reminiscent of Benn, Mikardo et al) needs refutation

  7. “anti Tory stuff, selling off the NHS …”: what, again? How often can a health service be sold off?

  8. ‘key marginal constituency of Delyn, north Wales’

    Delyn decides the national election? Well, then, what makes them ‘key?’

    Calling people ‘marginal’ is no way to make friends.

  9. “We calculated that if only half of those who clicked on the adverts decided to go out and vote Labour, we could still make a real difference.”

    If you’re running a campaign with the intent of influencing which way people vote, then you are a political organisation, and need to register with the Electoral Commission, and your spending counts towards the expenses of the party you are supporting.

  10. these are dark ads, that no one officially sees … it’s all hidden. And it just seems like it’s not really democracy, if all this is going on in total darkness

    “Dark” is of course a rhetorical bludgeon in the narrative of how Facebook needs to be regulated so the the little people only get the news they’re supposed to get and not what’s called “fake news”.

    It’s a funny one in this context. Outer Party members target Facebook ads at a segment of the proles, and when a rival political faction targets the same segment, it’s an attack on democracy.

    They have difficulty figuring out what’s going on because none of them get the prolefeed ads on their own social media, none of them have any prole friends who’d tell them what’s going on, and evidently they don’t even talk to their constituents like old-school Labour politicians used to do.

    And what’s their solution to being so out of touch? It’s to create fake prole accounts to get access into this “dark” milieu of people who live in Wales and who get political messaging that “no one”, no one who matters that is, “officially sees”.

  11. I’ve just received a Report in the form of a small newspaper from my local Conservative candidate seeking to be re-elected. He tells us proudly on the front page that he is “Working hard to secure a better future for local people”.

    It was printed in Bristol, which I take is a damning indictment on local printers

  12. Hugh Griffith,

    “They have difficulty figuring out what’s going on because none of them get the prolefeed ads on their own social media, none of them have any prole friends who’d tell them what’s going on, and evidently they don’t even talk to their constituents like old-school Labour politicians used to do.”

    Our Labour candidate is someone who lives in one of the neighbouring market towns, in a different county, in rather a nice part of it. She’s involved in “Save Swindon’s Libraries”, a campaign stuffed full of the bien pensant lefties in the town, and which has little support among the populace.

  13. Pat – in a general election all campaigning is local. People don’t vote for some national leader, they vote for the person they want to be local MP.

    Door to door works, as does leafleting etc.
    Yes the big national campaigns are nice to highlight why the other side are idiots and for promoting the manifesto. But the campaign in the constituency is always local, always trying to get their candidate elected.

  14. @jgh

    “If you’re running a campaign with the intent of influencing which way people vote, then you are a political organisation, and need to register with the Electoral Commission, and your spending counts towards the expenses of the party you are supporting.”

    I signed up to the Momentum email list under a false name.

    They have been emailing lots of tips about how to encourage young people to register/turn out, including what kind of printed material you can hand out outside schools and colleges and what you are allowed to say as you do it, before you move from ” encouraging young people to exercise their democratic rights” (which, although you expect it to benefit Labour, is actually still okay) to “telling people to vote Labour” (which now becomes expenditure that needs counting, hence discouraged strongly).

  15. Reading this article you’d think the Observer had uncovered the conspiracy to fake the Moon Landings.

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