“Stalinist” Tories to control candidate Tweets


4:05 pm - February 6th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

We were told the strength of the Conservative Party’s online presence was its “independence”. It was because CCHQ did not impose a “Stalinist” control of the message and seek to “regulate” what candidates did or said that thousand flowers were allowed to bloom.

The Tories were independent in their thought and actions, we were told, and that’s what made them a vibrant force online.

Oh wait:

David Cameron has ordered his party’s candidates to submit their online utterances for vetting.

The strict edict issued to every Tory candidate across the country covers updates on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as Internet blogs and websites.

The move aims to cut the number of gaffes in the run-up to the General Election when would-be MPs will face intense scrutiny.

A sudden rush to embrace “Stalinist control” and “regulation”? Surely Tories will not stand for this? Erm, the top Tory blogs seem to be rather silent on the matter.

The Daily Mail carries on to say:

In fact, relatively few Tory MPs use Twitter regularly.
One, Andrew Rosindell, has left his 314 Twitter followers just one message since signing up 12 months ago with the words: ‘Andrew is excited to have joined Twitter’.

Perhaps that was a step too far.

Coming after the attempt by CCHQ to herd Tory bloggers into a unified message, it seems their Stalinist tactics seem to be working quite well.

Update: And the repercussions have already begun:

@BevaniteEllie: Has this passed CCHQ fact check?? Is it really tea time? RT @LouiseBagshawe …am exhausted and it’s only tea time!

@gift_of_the_fab: @BevaniteEllie Officially Tory PPCs are not allowed to be tired or exhausted; they should always be bright, chirpy, chipper

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


They have such a weak message, bound up with policies designed to hoodwink the public into thinking they care about public services, that if it was a free-for-all, it would all come crashing down upon them. They cannot all keep ‘on message’ without the message being spelt out for them beforehand.

I note that my Tory opponent in Worsley and Eccles South (Iain Lindley) has denied this on Twitter.

http://twitter.com/cllrilindley/status/8726453468

3. Alisdair Cameron

Having debated with one (New) Lab PPC this very afternoon (on poverty and homelessness: she was not well received by the audience of homeless and MH service users…), and having spoken at length last night with a good friend whose sister is another PPC for Labour, I really don’t think this enforcement of being ‘on-message’ is at all limited to the odious,meaningless Tories, as the permission only to utter the most vacuous,spin-laden, glib and Panglossian soundbites is definitely a New Labour tactic too.

I think a big problem for the Conservatives is that so many of their Parliamentary Candidates are very right wing, particularly it seems those that use the Internet.

They tend to reveal the truth about the Conservative party by being candid online about their views.

4 “I think a big problem for the Conservatives is that so many of their Parliamentary Candidates are very right wing, particularly it seems those that use the Internet.

They tend to reveal the truth about the Conservative party by being candid online about their views.”

DING… DING …..DING…… WE have a winner!

Exactly . The Tories have to hide what they really are. Oh, and by the way, if they win the next election and Cameron tries to govern from the centre the party will remove him and move to the right.

He eithe rmoves to the far right after the election or he loses his job. Simple as that. Which is why his policies are a sack of bull shit.

Sally wrote:

“DING… DING …..DING…… WE have a winner!”

Thank you Sally, I’m glad I won 🙂

I do agree with you about the Conservative party.

An additional thought I’ve had is that by insisting Conservative party parliamentary candidates get their tweets cleared by Central Office they pretty much shut down the tweeting that there is by their candidates. I can’t imagine anyone using Twitter on that basis.

I think that there’s a large chance that the Conservative blogger Iain Dale is fairly responsible for the Conservative party’s anxiety about this.

This story reveals what a silly fellow he is:

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/01/29/gay-mp-and-blogger-in-twitter-spat/

When Labour MP Chris Bryant fairly easily trumps Iain Dale in this twitter discussion, Iain Dale resorts to abusive language.

@4: “I think a big problem for the Conservatives is that so many of their Parliamentary Candidates are very right wing, particularly it seems those that use the Internet.”

I endorse that sentiment although, even before the Internet era, Conservative centre regularly felt impelled to disband successive manifestations of the Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) for embarrassing excesses of extremist zealotry.

I hesitate to describe that zealotry as “right-wing” since I’m none too clear about the precsise connotations of that term and nor, I suspect, are those who use it.

On the documentary evidence, the official ideology of the Nazis had more in tune with what is called “left-wing” ideology than what is called “right-wing”. Stalin evidently had no problem with the Soviet Union signing up to a Friendship Treaty with Nazi Germany on 28 September 1939 when Britain and France were already at war with Germany. Hayek expressly said that he was not a Conservative and recall the shocking fact that Count Von Bismarck, first Chancellor of the German Empire who had absolutely no socialist inclinations, has the credit both for starting state old-age pensions and launching a social insurance scheme to pay for personal healthcare costs.

And your evidence for this post claiming that CCHQ are vetting Tweets?

An unsubstantiated story in the Daily Mail.

Ah yes, the Gold Standard.

9. J Alfred Prufrock

@7

On the documentary evidence, the official ideology of the Nazis had more in tune with what is called “left-wing” ideology than what is called “right-wing”.

And yet, in 1945, the Great British Public voted in the only Socialist administration its ever had.

Ermmm and the Spanish Civil War (probably the only war in history with proper ideological dividing lines) was between the Commies and the Nazis, each backed by their respective Parties. ‘cept for the anarchists (and the non-affiliated socialists, different kettle of fish, go read Homage to Catalonia).

Oh, and the Nazis killed millions of trade unionists and socialists and communists (as well as homosexuals, Jews, disabled people, gypsies etc).
Hardly the actions of a “left-wing” ideology, eh?

Oh, and the Nazis killed millions of trade unionists and socialists and communists (as well as homosexuals, Jews, disabled people, gypsies etc).
Hardly the actions of a “left-wing” ideology, eh?

Well, so did the Communists. That they were ideologically similar (and ‘totalitarian’ is a better label than left or right wing in any case) does not mean that they liked each other. But please God lets not have this argument again here.

11. J Alfred Prufrock

@10

I wouldn’t disagree that the Bolsheviks and the Nazis had much in common, but when Bob B @7 claims that the Nazis had “more in tune” with leftism (however you wanna define it) I couldn’t help but see a flaw in the argument.

But yehuh, “totalitarian” better label than left/right. Especially when one throws so-called “libertarianism” into the mix..! and yes, that noise you just heard was a can of worms being opened 🙂

The ambiguity was deliberate, studied.

From the horse’s mouth:

The red color of our posters in itself drew them {Leftists} to our meeting halls. The run-of-the-mill bourgeoisie were horrified that we had seized upon the red of the Bolsheviks, and they regarded this as all very ambiguous. The German national souls kept privately whispering to each other the suspicion that basically we were nothing but a species of Marxism, perhaps Marxists, or rather, socialists in disguise. .. Especially when they discovered that, as a matter of principle, we greeted in our meetings no ‘ladies and gentlemen’ but only ‘national comrades,’ … How often we shook with laughter at these simple bourgeois scare-cats, at the sight of their ingenious witty guessing games about our origin, our intentions, and our goal.

Mein Kampf, Vol 2, Ch 7

This is the official text of the programme of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as originally published in 1920, endorsed by Hitler and never subsequently amended:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/naziprog.html

The economic policies of the programme were undoubtedly “radical” and certainly not disposed to “free markets” – see paras 10 through 18.

This reflective comment on the Nazi Party comes from an independent American academic:

“The Nazi Party leaders were savvy enough to realise that pure racial anti-semitism would not set the party apart from the pack of racist, anti-semitic, and ultranationalist groups that abounded in post-1918 Germany. Instead, I would suggest, the Nazi success can be attributed largely to the economic proposals found in the party’s programs, which in an uncanny fashion integrated elements of 18th and 19th century nationalist-etatist philosophy with Keynesian economics. Nationalist etatism is an ideology that rejects economic liberalism and promotes the right of the state to intervene in all spheres of life including the economy.”
W Brustein: The Logic of Evil – The Social Origins of the Nazi Party 1925-33 (Yale UP, 1996), p.51


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. AndyG

    RT @libcon Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV

  2. Jamie Sport

    Something tells me Dave doesn't really get Twitter. RT @libcon: Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV

  3. Dave Harris

    RT @libcon Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV >> has anyone told @iaindale?

  4. Stuart Whittingham

    RT @libcon: Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV

  5. Face to Facebook

    RT @liquida #SMM "Stalinist" Tories to control candidate Tweets http://ow.ly/16vYO6

  6. Fabienne

    Oh fuck, I may have to top myself. I am quoted on @libcon :http://bit.ly/cDWJpW :/

  7. Mike Power

    Complete non-story at LibCon. This is the sort of crap we'll be getting from now to the election. http://bit.ly/cDWJpW Via @gift_of_the_fab

  8. Dpoc41

    “Stalinist” Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/agp35N

  9. Danny Dunmore

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tories to control candidate Tweets: In fact, relatively few Tory MPs use Twitter regularly. O… http://bit.ly/drEJgh

  10. Liberal Conspiracy

    Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV

  11. MusicMP

    Whatever happened to less-centralised control? http://bit.ly/a22cdV

  12. Kate Williams

    RT @libcon:Tories to control PPC Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV cf.@LouiseBagshawe "bought..skinny jeans – was a sz 8. An 8! can't believe it."

  13. Lucas Weatherby

    RT @libcon: Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV – Controlling tweets?! It's just not Twicket!

  14. George Allwell

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/9A2MyH

  15. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andy1120: RT @libcon Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV

  16. claire french

    @LabourWomensNet maybe they have been silenced by D.C. too! http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/02/06/tories-to-control-candidate-tweets/

  17. Conservative activist suspended over Nazi language…. « Moments of Clarity

    […] Meanwhile, perhaps partially as a response CCHQ announced it will be vetting Conservative candidates tweets. Conservative Home reports also that CCHQ is desperately trying to stop its candidates from […]

  18. Nick Jones

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/drEJgh

  19. Danny Dunmore

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tories to control candidate Tweets: In fact, relatively few Tory MPs use Twitter regularly. O… http://bit.ly/drEJgh

  20. clarinette

    RT @racheloconnell: Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/bsz2Tj

  21. Ewan McIntosh

    Ewan's reading Tories to control Candidate Tweets: Bad move given they want to expose more people to Tory thinking. http://bit.ly/94hbhT

  22. Edtech Feeds

    [from ewan.mcintosh] Tories to control Candidate Tweets: Bad move given they want to expose more people to Tory thinkin http://url4.eu/1KjoW

  23. David Kernohan

    RT @ewanmcintosh: Tories to control Candidate Tweets: Bad move given they want to expose more people to Tory thinking. http://bit.ly/94hbhT

  24. Paul Richardson

    Cameron has ordered his party’s candidates to submit their online utterances for vetting http://bit.ly/aG72wO via @ewanmcintosh @dkernohan .

  25. Hotlink Youth Club

    Liberal Conspiracy » “Stalinist” Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/aM7qkq

  26. rachel oconnell

    Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/bsz2Tj

  27. NoTosh Limited

    Ewan is reading Tories to control Candidate Tweets: Bad move given they want to expose more people to Tory thinking. http://bit.ly/bC8L5E

  28. Alan in Belfast

    Will the local NI Tory/UCUNF candidates agree to CCHQ vetting their tweets and online utterances? http://j.mp/dnRIdm

  29. Tweets that mention Liberal Conspiracy » Tories to control candidate Tweets -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by clarinette, Ewan McIntosh, Jamie Sport, Mike Power, Liberal Conspiracy and others. Liberal Conspiracy said: Tories to control candidate Tweets http://bit.ly/a22cdV […]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.