Grass-roots or Astro Turf?
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.