Yesterday the UK reacted in horror and bemusement, as the Conservatives launched their answer to the ‘Momentum problem’. With leading Conservative figures warning the party could be locked out of power eternally, if they fail to win over the youth vote, the party has launched a social media counter offensive.
Corbyn won over 60% of the 18-24 vote in the last election, and a majority of working voters under the age of 49. Labour’s social media campaign consisted of high quality short videos, amplified the direct Labour party message to millions, but most importantly created dozens of viral memes, highly shareable campaign gold. The social media campaign has been widely credited with helping Corbyn strip Theresa May of her majority, and for promoting Corbyn himself to rockstar-like popularity amongst the young.
And Activate? Let’s just say they’re not off to a flying start…
Unfortunately, even young Conservatives are deeply out of touch from the actual youth of today. Born and bred in wealthy middle-class countryside families, in their private school bubble, things such as #memes, or ‘may-mays’, pass them by. Just look at the logo:
A square root sign? Who came up with this? Do they intend to induce flashbacks of math class? Even the name has been dragged through the mud, with a few alterations. #ActiveHate
The branding is the least of their issues. The ‘independent national grassroots campaign organisation’ has already been exposed, with top ranking Conservative officials running the show, who will be bankrolling the organisation to success through aggressive Facebook / Google advertising. Big donor money is the only way #Activate will ever take off.
The Conservatives completely miss the point with genuine grassroots campaigns – they’re born out of protest for change – not to reinforce the status quo. Their assessment of Momentum is misguided, the Conservatives correctly attribute Labour’s success to shareable content, it was the message behind the #meme that made Labour’s campaign work.
The Conservatives have no message for the young. They have spent the last seven years stripping the young in society of everything, be it; EMA allowance at school for working class children, access to housing benefits under 21, the right to earn a living wage, by trebling University fees, and they have created an impossible housing market, where ‘starter’ homes are classed as £500,000 in London. Their policies have made getting on with life incredibly difficult, to the extent where todays ‘youth’ will be the first generation ever, to be poorer than their parents’ generation. Incredible.
In an unexpected leak, just today Right-wing media site ‘Guido Fawkes’ posted snippets of a Whatsapp chat linked to the founders of #Activate discussing ‘gassing chavs’, using poor people for experimental testing, and describing poor people to vermin who breed very quickly.
Even amongst the relatively progressive youth wing of the Conservative party, class hate and elitism are well entrenched. It has become far too often we ‘accidently’ hear Conservative MPs or ranking members using racial slurs in private conversations, or overtly posh Tories referring to working class people as ‘peasants’. It was only a few months ago Conservative association Cambridge student Ronald Coyne apologised for burning a £20 note in front of a homeless man, only later for recordings to be released of fellow Cambridge Conservative Association members, to be caught joking ‘it should have been a £50’. Shameful. Elitist all-boys-clubs are not what sparks a political movement, our verdict? #DeActivate #Meme #Rt #Retweet
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