Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.
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David Cameron has started vlogging, or video-blogging, or YouTubing, or whatever the heck it’s called these days. It really is a masterstroke. Webcameron is an excellent idea.
It’s certainly caused something of a stir in the blogosphere: James O’Malley rather enjoyed it, I think:
The first thing that struck me about this was why is the Leader of the Opposition, a man who earns £127,000 a year, doing the washing up by hand? Surely he owns a dishwasher? Even the proletariat can afford a dishwasher these days! Surely this little piece to camera wasn’t all stage managed?
The other thing that annoyed me about the video was that there was no pay-off. Having watched a lot of videos on the internet, I was expecting it to all build up to something. I thought towards the end he was going to shout “SHUT THE FUCK UP, KIDS!” Disappointing.
Nathan Nelson is possibly even more cynical:
I use Ecover as I am a left-wing Guardian-reading wooly liberal who thinks he can save the planet by buying Ecover products – presumably, I was supposed to see Dave using Ecover and welcome his to my bosom immediately as a kindred spirit.
And Pal makes an even better point:
Crumbs! Dave nearly does the washing up! His hands don’t get wet – he just waves his green washing up liquid around a bit.
But what none of these blogs mention is that they – just like me – are doing exactly what the Conservatives want. We’re talking about them. Whether we think Webcameron is the best idea since sliced bread, or whether we think it’s carefully crafted and stage managed as to mean nothing, the fact is that it’s generating a Conservative buzz. Looking at the Technorati stats, Conservative Party is being blogged a hell of a lot more than Labour Party, and (so the theory goes) if we’re talking about the Conservatives, we’re probably listening to a little of their policy. And maybe even warming to them a little.
It’s exactly where Labour have gone wrong with Dave the Chameleon. That’s a cute character, which at a glance actually makes you think favourably of the Conservatives. Only people who stick around to listen to the full message get the criticism – and few bother. The Conservatives, on the other hand, give a positive impression at first glance – though arguably fall down on policy. But no-one’s listening by that stage anyway.
Cameron is playing a blinder. And I mean Cameron. This is the land of ‘Brand Cameron’. The Webcameron site has no Conservative branding. This is about selling him, not the party, and it’s working. Labour’s playing catch-up. The longer Blair remains as a drag on the Labour party, the bigger the lead Cameron gets. Gordon Brown, or whoever turns out to be the next Labour leader, needs to pull something pretty spectacular out of the bag if they’re to take on Mr Cameron. The next election could be very interesting.