How Labour used its election troops to fake popular support

#1
An excellent Dispatches programme on Channel 4 tonight, showing a woman who infiltrated the Labour media operation. My only gripe is that the programme should have been shown before May 5! Nevertheless, an excellent expose lifting the lid on dirty tricks inclusing fake letters to local papers, rent-a-mob "supporters" from central casting who were used as "human shields" to keep reporters from the Dear Leader, "spontaneous" demonstrations at opposition events and a bag full of dirty tricks that would have shamed Beria.

An Observer article is partly reproduced below:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/election/story/0,15803,1489797,00.html

How Labour used its election troops to fake popular support

Documentary shows activists writing letters to newspapers and posing as 'local people' to greet Blair on campaign trail

Gaby Hinsliff, political editor
Sunday May 22, 2005
The Observer

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 tomorrow, 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.
In my opinion, the following actions should be taken next time around:

1. The media should refuse to air party political media events unless journalists can ask questions.

2. An independent database should be established for the purpose of letter-checking and activist photo recognition. This could be run by volunteers. Does anyone remember five years or so ago, when a RAF flight lieutenant and RN lieutenant apparently wrote to the Times in support of the scrapping of the Sea Harrier? A trawl through the active lists of both Services revealed no such officers existed, and it was a Liabour hoax.

3. Opposition parties should seek injunctions against the Liabour party to prohibit the organisation of "spontaneous" demonstrations at their events. If these injunctions are breached, then that would constitute contempt.

Mind you, the above actions are probably not necessary as no-one believes the t0ssers anyway!
 

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