Sunday, 12 April 2009

Response to Alastair Campbell

The following is a response to a post on Alastair Campbell's blog this morning on the Damian McBride affair:

"What the fall-out must not do is make Labour defensive about trying to do a better job of communicating via the web."

Labour and its supporters can have all the blogs they like, but as with Guido Fawkes, ConservativeHome etc, these are only ever going to engage with those involved in politics, the press or political junkies like myself. Rarely will they reach the masses.

Most people have either stopped listening to politicians or at best listen with a cynical ear. They also feel that politicians have stopped listening to them, which is where the real causes of political disengagement lie. Why should we care about the politicians' message when they seemingly don't care about the messages we try to send them?

I keep reading articles by people saying Labour needs to adopt an Obama-style web strategy to engage with young people and those who opt out of the traditional media, but they all fail to see the flaw in that whatever his strengths, Gordon Brown is never going to seize the popular imagination like Barack Obama did. The slick web operation only works when built around a figure people can feel inspired by and positive about and there are very, very few of those in British politics today.

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