Blair, Campbell and ‘astroturfing’

This entry was posted on
Monday, May 23rd, 2005
8:32 am and is filed
under UK General Election 2005.

Guardian – How Labour used its election troops to fake popular support: In America, they call it ‘astroturfing’: the faking of grassroots support for a politician or a product whose popularity is on the slide. Now it emerges that a tactic invented by US pharmaceutical firms to promote drugs – and promptly adopted by the Republicans to shore up George Bush after 9/11 – was imported to Britain to help get Tony Blair re-elected. A documentary to be screened on Channel 4, filmed by an undercover journalist who got a job in Labour’s war room, reveals how party members and supporters were systematically used to create the impression of ‘real people’ passionately backing the government.

The Guardian is displaying the wrong broadcast date. This broadcast goes out tonight:

Dispatches – Mon May 23 – 8pm on Channel 4

Two extra items via the NuLabour Dirty Tricks Archives

Meet Ben Virgo.

Something to keep in mind if Labour play the victim and/or come out hitting from the moral high ground following broadcast:

Scotsman – Campbell spins Blair into dirty tricks row (May 1): Labour was propelled into a fresh “dirty tricks” row last night after Alastair Campbell unveiled a new dossier detailing the secrets of the Tory strategy for regaining power. Senior Labour sources later admitted that the bulk of the documents had been passed to the party by a sympathiser “embedded” in the Tory campaign operation.

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