The website for David Davis’s campaign to get re-elected – on an identical platform? – in Haltemprice and Howden is now live at www.daviddavisforfreedom.com. I suggested last week that if his (wider) campaign was to be truly successful, he’d need ‘some kind of politics 2.0 initiative’: and so far, there’s not much sign of it.
The Ministry of Truth blog does a real hatchet job on the Terapad-based site’s copyright and privacy notice: not normally pages which would merit much attention, but this is not a normal by-election. To give you a taster:
All editorial content and graphics on this site are protected by U.S. copyright and international treaties and may not be copied without the express permission of Promoted by Duncan Gilmore on behalf of David Davis, which reserves all rights. Re-use of any of this site content and graphics for any purpose is strictly prohibited.
Yes folks, that’s just beneath a big banner which says ‘David Davis for Freedom‘. It’s clearly been automatically generated from a template, but if your entire candidacy is about rights and privacy, you really ought to have had a closer look.
And speaking of the banner at the top of the page: doesn’t it seem a bit – um – lacking in diversity? If you look at the associated Twitter account (39 followers, zero updates so far), you’ll find a ridiculously huge version of the same graphic (see above) does reveal a few non-white faces; but since you can’t actually see them on your screen, that doesn’t really stand up. And I’m not sure there’s a single person over 40 in the lineup either.
But that isn’t the only curious omission. There’s no hint of a Conservative party logo. You’ll be looking through the site for quite some time before you uncover a single reference to Haltemprice and Howden. Amusingly, the only substantial reference to his party is followed immediately by a ‘but’. And reading the text on the homepage, you’d have no clue that having resigned, he was even planning to stand again.
And then there’s this…
In Davis’s defence, he has made an early move to reach out 2.0-style, with a lengthy article published yesterday on ConservativeHome – which, of course, came out in favour of 42 days. ‘I have deliberately embarked upon an unorthodox course of action to dramatise the damage being done to the country I love,’ he writes – thus admitting, surely, that yes, it is a publicity stunt. He says his website will be ‘a sounding board for the debate I am determined to generate about the threat to our liberties’, although I can’t yet see any hint of debate on the site… not even comments on the ‘blog’. I’d also note the paragraph in which he writes:
Fortunately, the Westminster Village does not have a monopoly on political comment and reporting. In marked contrast to some rumour-mongering in the media, the blogosphere rapidly is becoming the real forum of popular debate and it offered a very different take.
Davis himself clearly recognises the need to reach far beyond a mere constituency by-election, if his campaign is to amount to anything. I’m afraid he has a long way to go.