Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begin!


2:45 pm - August 26th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Mark Pack at LibdemVoice notes something interesting today: The yes2AV.org domain name has been bought by one Matthew Elliott.

Elliott is of course the former head of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and now running the ‘No2AV’ campaign.

So what exactly was their motivation?

The online campaign will obviously be an important aspect of this referendum, so Matthew naturally bought several website addresses, using his personal credit card, to reach different audiences. Matthew bought the domain names before he accepted the invitation to become Campaign Director and therefore used his colleague Andy as the technical contact.

Sadly not all the No2AV sites were available, so we look forward to seeing what appears on the others as the campaign unfolds.

Isn’t that nice? It’s only yesterday Matthew Elliott told the BBC:

We will be fighting our campaign in the spirit of open and honest debate, because we want to see more referendums in the future. I am pleased to hear the No campaign are looking to do similar.

Is that what they call an open and honest debate?

We’re looking at whether this breaks any rules or whether it’s simply a straight-forward case of domain-squatting.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


If this is so heinous and constitutes ‘dirty tricks’ (as opposed to perfectly legal and actually a reasonably clever way of re-directing people to the No campaign) you had better tell regular Lib Con contributor Clifford Singer, owner of both:

mydavidcameron.com

and

taxpayersalliance.org

Sunny, both you and Mark are desperately trying to cook up a story out of nothing. So I will re-direct you back to the BBC story about the Yes campaign being ‘fun’ and ‘not dirty’

Sunny, will you and Lib Con be supporting AV or like the rest of the Labour Party and blogosphere are you going to come out against it for tactical reasons of destroying the Lib Dems (never mind the small chance our voting system might undergo a small change in the right direction)?

blanco – a bit of question-begging there, don’t you think! I imagine most of LC will be voting Yes, the tone of this article is good evidence of that; but there are plenty of reasons for voting ‘no’ other than to break the coalition (though that’s a good one too!) and whether it is a move in the “right” direction is the question up for debate, not something on which an objective truth exists.

Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me.

You ought to see the number of mistakes and arguments I’ve corrected from the “VoteNoToAV” twitter account just in the last 5 days – http://bit.ly/d2bxq7

Peter Facey summons it up best on his Facebook account “I think our word would have been optimistic but don’t let anyone believe that we won’t be robust in dealling with lies and misinformation.”

Quite right Peter.

“We will be fighting our campaign in the spirit of open and honest debate, because we want to see more referendums in the future. I am pleased to hear the No campaign are looking to do similar.”

So another tory liar. Whats new. They lie all the time.

you had better tell regular Lib Con contributor Clifford Singer, owner of both

Hello – are you a friend of Matthew or something? What Clifford does is no concern to this story – which looks like an attempt to sabotage the Y2AV campaign. Stop doing this whataboutery crap.

Matthew Elliott – “open and honest debate” – yeah right.

Blanco – I’m not speaking for other LC writers but yes I’m for AV and will be writing in support of it and campaigning on it.

Sunny,

Hello – are you a friend of Matthew or something? What Clifford does is no concern to this story – which looks like an attempt to sabotage the Y2AV campaign. Stop doing this whataboutery crap.

It’s hardly whataboutery, if you have promoted the same technique (use of a web address by people opposed to that point of view for political purposes) as you seem to presume will be happening here (I’m assuming you’re correct, but Matthew Elliott may be hoping to fund his web operation by selling the web address to the yes campaing for all I know), then either you have in the past promoted ‘dirty tricks’ or you are being hypocritical.

Whataboutery is the art of introducing something irrelevant into discussions – ‘OK, socialism has done some good things, but whatabout Stalin…’ – not a way of dismissing valid criticism that the same thing has been done before by those who support your point of view.

By all means point out this acquisition of a website, and point out you think it will be used in a deceitful manner, but you can’t hide behind claims of ‘whataboutery’ to disguise the fact you (or your site anyway) have promoted exactly the same techniques in the recent past.

Er Watchman…

Whilst it may not be “whataboutery”, it doesn’t make it right.

Whatever Sunny may or may have not done, it doesn’t make cybersquatting right.

Even if it’s to fund the no campaign, it doesn’t make it right.

If the No campaign want to look clean and above raproach, the thing to do now is to release the domain to the Yes campaign.

Simplz 😉

“Sadly not all the No2AV sites were available, so we look forward to seeing what appears on the others as the campaign unfolds.”
Implies that someone unconnected to the No to AV campaign had already bought some of the No2AV domain names/websites before Matthew Elliott tried to do so.
Now you are complaining because he has bought just one of the Yes2AV domain names…
Pot
Kettle
Black

Simon,

My point was that it does not make it right . Merely that to condemn this as ‘dirty tricks’ is not a good move if you have promoted the same, unless you are happy to admit that you use them also.

Anyway, so long as the site is clear it is not an official yes campaign site (which would be deceptive) I’m not sure it is particularly wrong. The claim here is that satire and distortion of views are likely to be dirty tricks, which is a matter of interpretation. I see them as good harmless fun (I’m sure we all enjoyed the various manips of posters and the like flying around at the election – anyone who didn’t is far too serious for their own good). And the obvious response is not to call the yes campaign Yes2AV anyway – strategically, I’d go for something about changing the voting system to try and attract supporters of more PR-based systems.

This meme of candidates and campaigns accusing each other of dirty tricks, old politics or smears when nothing of the sort is going on is getting really annoying. Oona King’s campaign seem to be doing it most. They, and all campaigns, should realise how unattractive it is.

Tim F

Face it, It does rather stink when the man behind the ‘No’ campaign has bought the ‘Yes’ domain or this just an example the conveniences of the ‘free market’ being applied to politics?

When David Cameron accused Labour of dirty tricks over the bus pass and winter fuel allowance were you uptight about that, did you find that ‘unattractive’? I reckon not.

#12

I’m Labour, I find everything Cameron says and does unattractive.

He hasn’t bought “the” yes domain; there are plenty of possible domains the yes campaign could use.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    The dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begins! http://bit.ly/aR9v5X

  2. Dave Howard

    RT @libcon The dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begins! http://bit.ly/aR9v5X <<— Time to invest in some domains methinks!

  3. Shirley Summers

    RT @libcon: The dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begins! http://bit.ly/aR9v5X

  4. RupertRead

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/08/26/the-dirty-tricks-against-yes2av-campaign-begins/ Sad news, but not surprising.

  5. Steed

    RT @libcon: The dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begins! http://bit.ly/aR9v5X

  6. sunny hundal

    Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign have begun despite promises of "open and honest" debate: http://bit.ly/aR9v5X

  7. yorkierosie

    RT @sunny_hundal: Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign have begun despite promises of "open and honest" debate: http://bit.ly/aR9v5X

  8. christine clifford

    RT @RupertRead: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/08/26/the-dirty-tricks-against-yes2av-campaign-begins/ Sad news, but not surprising.

  9. peter facey

    How to have "open and honest debate" by No2AV, step one buy up Yes2AV urls. So what is step two? http://t.co/T7VaeSV via @libcon

  10. Linda Jack

    RT @sunny_hundal: Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign have begun despite promises of "open and honest" debate: http://bit.ly/aR9v5X

  11. Rachel Hardy

    Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begin! | Liberal Conspiracy http://goo.gl/XKnT

  12. beefqueen

    Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begin! | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/cJM5YQS via @libcon

  13. Get Political Fund » Blog Archive » Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begin! | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] See the original post here: Dirty tricks against Yes2AV campaign begin! | Liberal Conspiracy […]

  14. Ryan Bestford

    I was going to vote Yes2AV but then I visited http://Yes2AV.org and realised the error of my ways… – http://bit.ly/cRwiOO (via @LibCon)

  15. Richard Paul Adair

    The @no2av camp bought the domain name yes2av.org. Shows the kind of dirty tricks they're willing to play!! From @libcon: http://j.mp/cVYVDW





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