Labour Party grass roots attack Jacob Rees-Mogg

A grass roots Labour Party organisation, called Ealing Labour 4 Corbyn, have posted a video attacking Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to their twitter and Facebook channels.

The film highlights Rees-Mogg’s voting record on issues like gay marriage, the bedroom tax and welfare cuts.

The ambition of the ad is to seed doubts in the minds of voters (and journalists) who might find the MP’s ‘old fashioned British eccentric’ persona appealing; they instead want to position him as a hard-right reactionary.

The viciousness of the attack might surprise some given that Rees-Mogg and Corbyn, on paper, have wildly different constituencies of support.

And, given the anti-establishement sentiment that seems to be prevailing in the UK, it’s tempting to dismiss the ambitions of a candidate like Rees-Mogg 

But it’s worth remembering that Corbyn’s support was to a significant extent enabled by his personal qualities, such as authenticity, empathy and a distinctive sartorial style.

The memes, celebrity endorsements and standing-room-only events would have been less likely to flow so readily had it been another person fronting the Labour 2017 manifesto.

Organisations like EL4C – though they would be unlikely to admit it – see similar personal qualities in Jacob Rees-Mogg as they see in Corbyn and so are trying to prevent any green shoots of support from growing.

A view from inside the Labour campaign

This week I saw Matt Watts, Planning Director at Krow, Labour’s advertising agency, speak about their work for the party and the changing nature of the role ad agencies play in election campaigns.

The amazing video above was put together by Krow.

It’s a brilliant summary of the cultural movement that Corbyn led and the agency helped facilitate.

Below is a summary of the presentation Matt gave:

“In the future agencies need to help parties curate a cultural campaign, not just create an ad campaign.

Ads are easy to dismiss. People don’t generally want to spend time with ads, they’re more likely react to things they’re passionate about or find entertaining or thought-provoking.

So we need to help create causes that inspire action, rather than limiting ourselves to ads that reiterate a position. And execute them in a way, and place, that resonates beyond the newsnight audience.

The film hopefully shows that we got people to view an election campaign in a new light, that we thought beyond just ads, and we curated cultural moments.

The Labour campaign enabled 3 types of campaign content:

1. Official Party content collaborators – executing the key Party messages: Krow, Labour’s in-house team & Ken Loach etc…

2. Non-party campaign groups: Unite the Union, Momentum, Labour Future etc… authentic voices who champion the cause, and cherry pick their messages.

3. Unofficial Party collaborators (with no official connection) who just champion the cause in their own way: Grime4Corbyn, RantsNBants, Corbyn Facebook groups, JOE, individual activists etc…

Given the sheer number of views these content creators can deliver, we have to start considering them in the planning of the campaign.

As the Tories right wing press, continues to slowly die, you have a new generation of content creators, with mass reach at your disposal. As long as the cause is right.”

7 reasons for Labour’s relative success at general election 2017

1. A viable strategy: retain Labour’s 2015 vote and add disaffected Labour supporters and young people who didn’t vote in ’15 or who voted for Green or UKIP as a protest.

2. A simple narrative: we’re willing to make radical decisions to improve the lot of normal people.

3. An authentic leader: consistently on the side of the marginalised.

4. Motivating policy offer: more money for the NHS, schools and pensioners, scrap university fees, create a national investment bank and, crucially, remain in the European single market.

5. A clear enemy: high earners and multinational corporations.

6. Kept journalists busy: public events, relevant celebrity endorsements, bold statements (foreign policy speech post-Manchester), gave clear answers to questions and attended the debate.

7. A humble approach to battlegrounds: left Labour candidates in marginal seats alone to try and win over wavering voters whilst visiting strongholds to generate a sense of momentum in national news coverage.

UPDATE: I’ve since written a long-hand version of this for The Drum, which you can read here.

Labour supporting posters

I’ve seen a few Labour-supporting posters which are independent from the official campaign that are worth sharing.


Unite, a trade union, have been touring a poster van around the north of England.  The adverts seek to reheat some of the old anti-Tory sentiment that has, historically at least, burnt brightly.

It’s great that they’ve gone to the effort and they score marks for trying to be provocative and generate earned media, but the attacks are slightly ham-fisted.

A bit of humour or wordplay in the headline would have gone a long way to remove any negative sentiment viewers might feel towards the sponsor of the attack.

Pasha & Garrick

@pashini90 & @Garrickmidd

Pasha & Garrick have created this unofficial poster for the Labour Party which tries to position the Conservative’s Brexit negotiators as not being up to the task.

As most people see Theresa May as strong on Brexit, the attempt to remind voters of the other more calamitous members of her team is an interesting angle.

However, Brexit is the Conservative’s strongest suit and every day Labour encourage discussion of Brexit they risk reminding voters of a reason to vote Tory. 

Nevertheless it deserves credit: it’s a clever headline with an eye catching visual that has been very nicely art directed.


I’ve written a piece for The Drum in which I explain that The Labour Party have adopted an influencer-led approach to help it reach young voters spending time on social media networks.  I argue young people’s votes are essential to any chance of a Jeremy Corbyn victory on 8 June, that it’s a smart tactic and one that seems to be working.  You can read the full article here.

I’ve also appeared on Channel 5 news talking about the topic, which you can watch below:


And some of the full videos mentioned in that Channel 5 news clip and in the Drum article are available to view below:

Triple whammy

The Labour Party have released a pastiche of the Conservative Party’s celebrated “double whammy” poster which the Tories deployed during the 1992 general election campaign.

I don’t like it when political parties release pastiches of their own or other parties’ advertising. It’s lazy and a waste of an opportunity to do something that could make a significant difference to the narrative of the election.

Unless the pastiche significantly builds on, or dramatically reframes, the original and manages to make it more visually impactful, insightful or unexpected there’s no point in running it.

And ripping off Double Whammy in the way that Labour have done is anything but unexpected… they did it at the last election…