Left Watch

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The British Left is developing better and better online products

There is more evidence today that the Left is getting its online effort together.

Screen shot 2009-12-27 at 14.43.53 LeftFootForward is a notably different offering to, for example, the nasty immaturity of Sunny Hundal's Liberal Conspiracy.  It is an intelligent blog that examines all Tory policy.  We are also seeing Alex Smith build a more credible LabourList after the disaster of Derek Draper's stewardship.

Screen shot 2009-12-27 at 14.43.02 Yesterday Hillary Benn MP launched the 'BackTheBan' website to harvest the email addresses of the many supporters of the foxhunting ban. It's not a complicated product but it will probably gather a few thousand email addresses in the months to come for party fundraising efforts.

Screen shot 2009-12-27 at 14.26.59Today a Labour MP, Jon Cruddas, and a Labour candidate, Chuka Umunna, have launched 'Tory Stories' - a blog dedicated to highlighting alleged failures of Tory councils and councillors.  The Times' Sam Coates describes the blog as "carefully researched".

Time will tell if ToryStories can translate its initial offering into regular analyses that win local and national media attention but there are clearer and clearer signs that the Right's dominance of the internet is being challenged as never before. The 38 Degrees website is also one to watch.

Should the Tories win the General Election we can expect the Left to rebuild on the web. They will fight every 'Tory cut' online and on a local and national basis. The trade unions have a £25m war chest to fund such campaigns.  The danger for the Labour Party is that all this online activism will create an energised left-wing that will be difficult to manage.

Whatever the truth about the Left's latest online offerings it is absolutely the case that we on the Right must raise our game in 2010.

Tim Montgomerie