Amongst many of the things that was being handed out at Tory conference (including a flyer alleging that Shami Chakrabarti is “worse than Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich”), was a card promoting a new Rock the Vote website.
A US-staple designed to encourage young people to vote, the first UK Rock the Vote emerged in the run up to the 1997 General Election. Leftwing dominated, it barely got off the ground. My recollection was that a promised national tour of major bands ended up consisting mainly of 808 State and the Shamen, both of which were passed their sell-by date by that stage (back when they were good, Radiohead threatened to get involved, but shied off).
This Rock the Vote does not appear to be in any way associated with that campaign, or the Sun effort in 2005. Indeed, it isn’t yet clear who is behind it; the site claims it has been developed by logibase, whose own website’s about us section is “under construction.”
The obligatory accompanying blog is a little more illuminating. On its own about us section, it lists a number of pseudonyms, from “future canny politician” Lord T to Shredder, the “businesswomen from London” who “makes Thacher look a saint.”
The posts on the blog make it entirely clear where they’re coming from: it’s all unremittingly negative about Brown, hagiographic about Cameron (“Super Dave”?). Worryingly in light of the weird things I’ve seen being handed out throughout the week of Tory conference, it links approvingly to a video alleging that Gordon Brown is the very devil and actively working to bring in a new world order; Super Dave is compared favourably to Justin Timberlake.
So, not least of all the fact that it was being promoted at Tory conference but not at the other two, it does appear that at the very least the site is being run by Tories. It is surprising they chose to launch the site last week when it clearly isn’t ready yet. But more to the point, is rehashing a 20 year old idea which wasn’t particularly successful when it was launched in the States and without any visible line up of rock stars and celebs to endorse it, really going to achieve anything? I’m not convinced.