Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Labour election tricks


Channel 4 TV Dispatches programme revealed how Blair's New Labour used "astroturfing" - faking grassroots support during the General Election.

An undercover Channel 4 reporter, Jenny Kleeman, showed how

1. Fake letters were sent to local newspapers to show support for Labour’s achievements.

2. Labour activists posed as 'local people' to greet Blair on the campaign trail.

3. 'Spontaneous' demonstrations against rival politicians were organised, with activists instructed to use handwritten homemade-looking placards.

4. The party kept lists of professionals, such as doctors, senior police officers and teachers, who were not identifiable as Labour party members but could be relied on to speak supportively to the media.

Kleeman said: "I witnessed extraordinary examples of the kind of foul-mouthed bullying and everyday mendacity that are the common currency of Labour’s male-dominated media organisation," she said."


According to the Observer: "Party members and supporters were systematically used to create the impression of 'real people' passionately backing the government."

Among the American strategists drafted into the Labour campaign was Zach Exley.

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