Recent Liberal Conspiracy Articles

Revealed: How Tory staffers are astro-turfing leftwing blogs

by Sunny Hundal     November 13, 2009 at 10:00 am

Will Straw at Left Foot Forward published an astonishing story the other day. He said:

An employee of the Conservative party has used a fake name and email address to comment on a Left Foot Forward guest post about anti-semitism in Poland.

You won’t be surprised to hear that the comment was typically of the “so what?” kind that sought to play down Michal Kaminski’s background. Just the kind we’ve also been getting a lot of since the controversy erupted.

So, Unity ran a quick scan on our own comments. We’ve found four instances where someone with that IP address also posted comments here – in each case defending the party or its sympathisers.

The comments go as far back as March this year when I revealed that the think-tank Policy Exchange had been forced to apologise to a Muslim group. At the time we experienced a whole bunch of new readers coming here to rubbish my story without any substance to back it up.
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Website re-design

by Sunny Hundal     July 30, 2009 at 4:24 am

As you can tell, LC’s had a face-lift. To be sure, there are loads of things to be ironed out. But it’s a complicated setup so I really need to work on it live. You may be wondering why it’s so cluttered too.

That’s because I’m thinking a bit ahead. I’ll be focusing a lot more on news stories and linking to other blogs that are running interesting pieces of news.

I’ll also be adding sub-blogs to the site which will focus on specific topics (such as Westminster, activism etc). I needed to create space for that too. The site is expanding and will eventually feature lots more content, but all that needs to be rolled out gradually.

In the meantime, if you have any comments or spot any issues please let me know below or by email.

A political strategy for Conspirators

by Mike Killingworth     July 19, 2009 at 1:35 pm

The political outlook for progressives in Britain is, arguably, bleaker to-day than at any time in recent – or not-so-recent – history. Even in the heyday of Thatcherism the Labour Party offered a clear alternative vision of what society could and should be. The intellectual energy of the left is sapped: the generation of iconoclasts who came to the fore in the ’70s and ’80s appear to be childless.

The only exception is the Internet, which has enabled us all to connect and debate to an extent that was the stuff of dreams a generation ago. Yet nothing similar has happened here. If the political power of the Internet is to be realised in Britain, it will have to come from beyond the existing parties themselves.
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Does Iain Dale know much about blogs?

by Sunny Hundal     April 14, 2009 at 10:30 am

A couple of days ago Tory blogger Iain Dale wrote an article for the Sunday Telegraph which repeated the same meme that left-wing blogs are boring and right-wing blogs is where the impact and numbers are at.

Usually I let it go because it seems to be a psychological condition amongst right-wingers that they have to continually pat themselves on the back in fear of looking inadequate. As the latest amusing example, here’s Daniel Hannan MEP desperately pleading to be let into the club. I don’t even have the heart to give him a primer about blog ‘hits’ versus ‘absolute unique users’. Anyway, Iain Dale said:

Over the last few years, Right-of-centre blogs such as my own (Iain Dale’s Diary), Guido Fawkes, ConservativeHome, Dizzy Thinks, Nadine Dorries MP, Donal Blaney, Devil’s Kitchen and John Redwood’s Diary have come into their own. Several are now read by more than 100,000 individuals every month.

Bloggers like me, Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome and Guido Fawkes have become part of the media punditry circuit. But on the Left-of-centre, tumbleweed still blows around the blogosphere.

Gotta love the ‘media punditry circuit’ quote. But tumbleweed, really?
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Derek Draper is poisonous for the Labour party

by Sunny Hundal     April 12, 2009 at 4:51 am

If there’s one lesson for the Labour party to be learned from smeargate – it’s that if Derek Draper is leading your online operations then you may as well give up politics.

The antics of Damian McBride and Derek Draper, the latter now beyond redemption (again), epitomise all that has gone wrong with the Labour Party. That Alastair Campbell, John Prescott and others at cabinet level put their faith in Draper to bolster their online operations has now shown to be stupidity of near epic proportions.

But in case it isn’t already clear to the party why we are angry, it’s because we expect more of the left. We expect more of a party that claims to represent the left. We understand the need for pragmatism, for building narratives, and sometimes the need for discipline. But this episode serves to highlight all that has gone wrong with the Labour party.
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The smugness of the right

by David Semple     January 12, 2009 at 8:30 pm

The smugness pours through Iain Dale’s article at the Guardian’s Comment is Free site, as Dale tries to assess how much of a competitor Derek Draper’s Labour List is likely to be to sites such as Conservative Home.

Liberal Conspiracy is too serious, according to Dale, so there is room open on the Left for a big blog, but the smugness threatens to choke off whatever point Dale was making when he says, “It would be good…to have some real competition for a change.”

In the words of my forefathers, what an arrogant little shoite Iain Dale is. What I’d like to know is this: by what standard can Conservative Home or the Spectator Coffee House be judged as more successful than any individual or collective Left effort? More visits? By that definition, the websites of the mainstream meedja have us all beaten – but the very reason we bloggers write in the first place is that we don’t want to read inane drivel. Quality matters – not just popular appeal.
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What we need for campaigning

by Sunny Hundal     December 5, 2008 at 10:34 am

I recently wrote about the Obama campaign’s ground operations that helped them win the election, and pointed out that many of the online techniques used by the campaign were first pioneered by US left-wing blogs.

Everyone in the UK now keeps talking about aping the Obama campaign but no one has actually done anything about it yet as far as I’ve seen. But this may soon change. So what can we do and what is required?

First, some questions need to be answered.
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Dealing with right-wing trolls

by Sunny Hundal     December 4, 2008 at 9:53 am

There’s an interesting blog post here about online trolling, which basically affirms my theory that if a blog’s debate level is allowed to deteriorate by allowing loads of trolling, then it gets worse.

The ‘broken windows’ theory, online:

Much of the tone of discourse online is governed by the level of moderation and to what extent people are encouraged to “own” their words. When forums, message boards, and blog comment threads with more than a handful of participants are unmoderated, bad behavior follows. The appearance of one troll encourages others. Undeleted hateful or ad hominem comments are an indication that that sort of thing is allowable behavior and encourages more of the same. Those commenters who are normally respectable participants are emboldened by the uptick in bad behavior and misbehave themselves.

This is why we have a tight comments policy, and I stick by my view that drive-by commenters who come here only to say ‘oh you call yourself liberals then‘, or ‘lefties are just stalinist evil scum‘ etc, will have their vowels removed. This is a debate and discussion site aimed at the liberal-left, though it is an open site and I encourage constructive debate, broken windows will not be tolerated for obvious reasons. If you want to hurl insults, use Guido Fawkes – that’s all they do there.

‘Communities in Control’ – the bloggers’ consultation begins!

by Thomas     November 11, 2008 at 7:20 pm

A big thanks to all of you who volunteered to contribute to our series on the ‘Communities in Control’ white paper – it looks like we’re off and running!

Here’s a run-down of who’s been delegated to do what:
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Happy Birthday Liberal Conspiracy

by Sunny Hundal     November 5, 2008 at 10:00 pm

We are one years old today. Of course, this news is bigger than an Obama win so I’m not sure why the headlines of newspapers around the world are ignoring us. You can’t have everything eh?

It still feels amazing being here in Los Angeles and celebrating Barack Obama’s win. And yes, I was part of that because for the last three weeks we made calls to the states of Nevada (especially!), Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio (which I though we wouldn’t win), Indiana and Montana. On election day, as poll results started coming in to the office we were still making last minute calls to Colorado and Alaska, even when Ohio was called for Obama and the race was effectively over. The dedication of the foot-soldiers was unyielding and complete. Victory, when it came, was sweet. Onwards and upwards, comrades!

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