Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Boris Johnson's Pundits for Pay

Grass-roots or Astro Turf?

A paid member of the Back Boris campaign has been caught posting multiple comments on websites that criticise his boss. The pundit-for-pay was outed by StopBoris.org as a senior member of the Back Boris campaign team and as a contributor to the Evening Standard.

The commenter going under the name of 'Jeh' listed his job as:

"Web and Merchandise Manager and Communication Team Member for Back Boris for London 2008," on his social networking profile. He also boasted that his "work was featured on page 15 of the Evening Standard."

Now it may well be that his employment by Boris Johnson and his contribution to the Evening Standard are completely coincidental. It may also be that Andrew Gilligan's attacks on Ken Livingstone are completely unrelated to his employment and close friendship with the Tory candidate.

On the other hand, it could be that Boris Johnson's employees and cronies are being paid to smear his opponents.

StopBoris.org has also been targeted by one user going under the name of 'Zach.' Zach posted multiple comments on the site, and displayed a thorough knowledge of the London local elections despite having an ISP location in Australia.

A commenter going under the name of Zach has also been caught posting under alternative names on Dave Cole's blog.

StopBoris has since been asked by 'Jeh' to remove all of his comments from the site. He claims that he was posting as a private individual and that his information has been misused. However, these claims come after he posted potentially libelous comments onto StopBoris.org.

Posting before his own role as paid pundit had been revealed, 'Jeh' accused the Stop Boris creator of being a 'paid subsidiary of the Ken machine' who is 'seeking to maintain the politics of cronyism.'

These accusations now sound very hollow indeed.


stevep said...

That's the problem with the internet. Anyone can manufacture supposed support for their party by posting under lots of different names. Still it's something else when you have to pay someone to do it for you.

ToneyTony said...

The alleged website hacking doesn't seem to have affected them much either does it? I suppose at least the Boris supporters are being kept behind closed doors. I wonder if they have to wear those t-shirts while they're on the computers.

angelneptunestar said...

Tory Troll, we may often disagree, but I have to say this is a bit of a funky website you have here. I am learning terms like astroturfer and grassroots, INTERESTING! LOLOLOL

ps. you couldn't possibly tell me what a neo-con is could you?

The Tory Troll said...

Ha Ha. Glad to be of service ;)

It's good to know if I've achieved nothing else for the hours and hours I've spent on this, I have at least taught one person the meaning of a word.

Coming soon: sockpuppet, push-polling, carpetbagger, swiftboating, and er neo-con. If you want.

Dave Cole said...

Very interesting - I've linked from davecole.org.

angelneptunestar said...

TT, put smurfette, as I explained to you, hope you got that message.

"Smurfette": An independent mouthy female who pushes her ardent right wing views onto lefty blog. sites!