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Is Ken using his voodoo to bring down the site?

Stefan Shakespeare really isn't getting value for his money with this one. But then again, we wouldn't maybe have the problem with Ken if his initial Tory opponent hadn't been that disaster Archer.

Brilliant! best one yet I think, has more substance than the tax one but still as well made.

BTW my point was made on the basis that I still can't see it. Someone above evidently has - but as I'm running bang up to date software on a new machine with a good broadband connection, I can't be the only one who can't see it.

I've now seen it, and it's a tragic waste of money. Why? Because though it's *very* well made, it speaks to the obsessions of those who made it (obscure Islamic extremists, Fidelophobia &c), it thereby ignores the stuff real London voters care about. You, the people who made this, might care about this stuff, actual London voters don't, and prove that election after election. Thus you're as clear proof as one might need of the disconnect between a certain sort of Tory activist and the voters we actually need to target. Talk to Londoners about what they care about, not the sort of crap that excites a meeting of the Heritage Foundation.

So what do Londoners care about?

£££, crime, £££, crime, £££, crime. To the extent that £££ was touched upon (ultimately nugatory cost of spin doctors - the voters can add up remember), it was lost in the welter of talk about Islamic clerics 99% of Londoners have nevr heard of, will never hear of, and will NOT cast their vote on the basis of Ken's attitude towards. We need to tell a simple message about the cost of crime, and the state of the Met, and we need to keep telling it. As things stand, we're not doing that, Cameron's fluffy agenda shows no signs of being *able* to do that, and so we're going to deserve to lose again.

In my view this is Doughty Street’s best ad yet. Not sure if the jabs about Crow will hurt but, on the whole, an excellent ad that makes its point powerfully.

I'd also like to congratulate the team at Doughty Street for the work they're doing here. Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube for a reason: internet TV is going to be big. The Doughty Streeters are pioneers making politics better.

I have some sympathy with Penny Picher's comments. Despite its claims, 18 Doughty Street is a site for Tories, especially those in the Westminster Village. This campaign is only preaching to the choir.

What we really need is a robust and credible Mayoral candidate. That candidate must have a successful track record in running a large organisation with a huge budget. Sadly, none of the declared candidates fits the bill.

For what it's worth Pincher, the idea to criticise Livingstone in this "you can judge a man by his friends" way was voted over ideas to attack him over hypocrisy and tax.

I was one of the 'silly women in hats' who fought to get Steve Norris back in as a candidate, when he was excluded from the original Tory selection process for the very first mayoral election. Stefan Shakespeare's role then, on the disastrous Archer campaign, gives me very few grounds for thinking that he knows hot to get rid of Red Ken. That is, I appreciate, a point that will not be welcomed at 18 Doughty St, or its subsiduaries, but it's a fact. Though God help us if we end up with Nick Boles this time - we'll be beaten into third place by the Liberals.

The Deputy Editor's comments only add to the perception that this campaign run by Tories and aimed at Tories.

Successful campaigns have themes that matter to the target audience, i.e. swing voters. They should be decided by campaign managers after research, not voted on by activists.

I am afraid this episode only confirms that 18 Doughty Street is run by enthusiastic amateurs rather than experienced professionals. Iain Dale's awful result in North Norfolk is clear evidence of this sad fact.

Why have comments being deleted from this thread?

While I admire the intention I must say I found the execution disappointing. Perhaps it would have been better to have used real news clips of Ken hobnobbing with Crow, Castro and various anti-Western fanatics. Using a dark screen lacks impact. And could we avoid the stereotype that Ken's opponents sound like taxi drivers from Ilford (not that there's anything wrong with Ilford or taxi drivers). That's so 80s.

They haven't Jack, it's just that we put this post up initially at 9am but then decided to put it up at 11am when the video officially launched - unfortunately your comment and another were lost in the process.

Look at one that helped win an election, the NESNO ad in the 2004 referendum on Regional Assembly.


The 18DS ones have a feel of Tory activists with amateur production values. It's a good idea, but much room for improvement. Good luck.

I fear that too many Londoners have long since accepted all the stuff about Adams; Castor; Chavez etc. as part of Ken's eccentricity. It just washes over them. To beat him, I think we've got to convince on transport (above all), then crime and tax.

I find it gobsmacking that "successfulad" has the nerve to attack Doughty Street for amateur production values. The New Frontiers video he’s so proud of was a classic case of somebody unable to resist using all the fades and wipes included with their home video software. It was the video equivalent of flashing text and 20 fonts on a web site. A slide show linked by diamond wipes, diagonal dissolve and mirror flips is not cool – it’s truly amateurish.

For the budget I imagine they’re produced with, the Doughty Street ads are polished and very professional. Leave them alone!

Dep Ed, you say Castro etc got voted for the ad - but who was voting? Tory bloggers and the like! This is an ad for bloggers by bloggers on issues bloggers get themselves hot under the collar over, and no-one else will take any notice.

The Mayor has (too much) power over transport, the police, the fire brigade, culture and economic development in London. Getting him over his failures there would have been more relevant to Londoners than the company he keeps.

I did not mean to imply that the NESNO ad had good production values that should necessarily be copied. The point was that it was, so I understand, actually played on TV in the North as the No campaign's equivelant of party election broadcast and was a success. Being a success, it may therefore be of interest. I don't know anything about the technical side of whether it is good or bad. You may well be right.

Similarly, my point about 18DS was simply that it has the feel of being made by political people, which the best political ads do not.

I was not trying to start an argument. I may be wrong, but the Nesno ad was forwarded to me and I thought it would be interesting.

"I was not trying to start an argument."

Why not! You should be ashamed!!!

Re the Standard's article - Livingstone's rattled! well done! One of the barriers to getting rid of Livingstone (and his lackeys like Bob Crow) has been his seemingly impermeable aura of cheeky-chappiness. Of course he is nothing of the sort; he's the vilest type of nasty machine-politician, quite happy to form alliances with groups so disparate that it defies any notion of logical coherence, in order to get sufficient vote-chunks to secure his majority. I felt a shiver of fear down my neck when he embraced Al-Qaradawi, and, pace Penny Pincher's views, I was yet more horrified that no-one in the mainstream media felt it necessary to comment on.

Will one attack ad suffice? No of course not. Is there a chance that a succession of such publicity will draw the attention of people to the fact that they have been happily handing power to a man who would not be welcome in any decent society? Yes I think it might.

As it happens I think I agree with Penny on the main focus of the coming Tory campaign: it should mainstream on crime. But there should also be - it is almost morally necessary that there ought to be - a significant strand dedicated to demonstrating to Londoners just what sort of evil hypocrite the current incumbent is.

My comments earlier today, which were lost in the repost, have been repeated here. When Tim set up the site he said it was meant to be for the whole country, especially those members who were isolated in non-Tory areas. Sadly the whole thing is getting bogged down in the small-minded politics of Westminster Village.

Do you really think it is wise to boast about "attack ads". It's US politics at its lowest.

The ad is brilliant. It neatly links the failure of Livingstone's London (ie more crime, more congestion, higher taxes etc) to the Mayor's self-indulgences and extremisms.

Agreed Umbrella. It gets to Ken's character, which is relevant to any issue.

I see Ken's accused 18DS of being the nasty side of politics in the Evening Standard today! It's obviously riled him to get a comment.

Personally, the thought of Ken getting angry watching this video is reason enough to make it!

Pat on the back to 18DS.

We may not have the money that you guys have - but it's a start:

Like several of the other posters, I have to ask "where is the Conservative alternative to Ken?"

I am sure that most of the electorate would like to know what the Conservatives are 'for' rather than what (or whom) they are against.

The case for change can't be too strong if we can only manage to criticise the Mayor on the basis of his association with various 'bogey men' who have no role in London politics.

I noticed that the ad slipped in the name of Gerry Adams as one of the alleged hobnobees--A bit odd, as our own John Major's hob-nobbing with said gentleman has led to some very positive progress in Irish politics.

If memory serves, the last Conservative Mayoral candidate was widely referred to as 'hob-nobber' Norris (allegedly, a bit more nob than hob).

I take it (from the lack of a denial posted here) that the figure quoted in the Standard is right, and this ad *did* cost 20K? Hopefully its makers recognise from the reaction in this very favourable forum that it wasn't worth a tenth of that sum.

Ken will not be beaten by 'reminding' the voters about issues they are determined not to be interested in. The intensity with which some people here believe that they know better than the voters do themselves what they ought to think important is a big part of our problem. Successful politicians appeal to the voters' cocerns, not to their own. The same thing goes for 'attack ads'.

The ad did not cost £20,000 but such an advert would cost a similar amount if done commercially. It doesn't cost 18DoughtyStreet.com anything like that amount because we already have the crew and equipment etc.

"The gloves are off" - 18DS

Oh dear. This is going to blow up in your face.

I hope that everyone involved with 18DS is clean - he who lives by the sword...

I love Nasty Tory and Jack Bains' comments. You can tell when the left are rattled. They start threatening to fight dirty. There will be threats of coming after wives and kids soon.

Umbrella man,

I am not from the left and I was not making a threat. I simply know enough about politics and campaigning to know that you can't do attack ads without being bitten on the ass!

By the way - you hide behind a name that interests me - is it a homage to Chamberlain or the famous New York Cape Man murders?

I can just see how stupid it was to bill the attack as "gloves off" as it signals to the opposition that you have decided to take the fight into the gutter.

No-one was rattled by that sixth-form attempt at an attack. It was embarrassing. It was the direct quote of a "gloves off" attack from the 18DS team themselves that I was commenting on.

"...negative personal campaigning that only puts people off politics." -- Ken

More like "unwelcome campaigning that only puts people off me."

At last I've had a chance to see the advertisement. It's alright but no more than that. I can't help thinking that most ordinary Londoners will care little if Livingstone is a mate of Castro but will be more bothered by the fact that he has failed to improve the city and the lives of its citizens in any respect.
This is going to be quite a difficult task until the Conservative party a) has a candidate for Mayor and b) some distinctive London policies.
I would also agree with those commentators who have counselled 18DoughtyStreet about using terms like 'attack ads' which conjure up visions of the worst of American politics.

"...negative personal campaigning that only puts people off politics." -- Ken

It will be interesting to see how the public takes this as it gets around. After all, this is not the product of a candidate or a party machine. It's a totally new paradigm in British political campaigning - we haven't tended to get the third-party organisations heavily and openly involved in elections before (are they called 501s in the US?)

I thnk that negative campaigning will always have a place in politics, rightly or wrongly - it gets attention, and sometimes does plant a seed of doubt. But this does need to be balanced out by some follow-up genuine issue ads on e.g. crime, transport and local taxation in London. I'm put in mind of the television adverts for a high street bank that tell us "there is another way..."

"...'attack ads' which conjure up visions of the worst of American politics."

The main criticism of this ad has been that it only scores with politicos and the Westminster Village. If that's the case, i.e. the population at large is less politically informed, they certainly won't know or be worried about similarities to American politics.

I happen to think that Conservatives have been too much Judy and not enough Punch. I'm pleased when DC gets a little more aggressive and personal at PMQ, I'm happy when our panellist on QT gets feisty, and I'm glad that Doughty Street are showing Ken Livingstone for what he truly is.

I thought it was an excellent ad but then I suppose I'm not a typical London voter (I don't even live there). While I agree with those who say we should put more emphasis on issues that most Londoners care about I do think that something can be gained by pointing out that Livingstone isn't as pleasant as he makes himself out to be. We live in an age of personality politics aftr all. Furthermore I'd have thought there'd be a lot of concern regarding Islamic extremism.

Seeing as this negative act is based on facts rather than falsehoods there's no logical reason why people should be angered by it.

ad, not act!

The fact that "Londoners" vote for the scumbag Livingstone in droves tells us all we need to know about the denizens of this filthy city.

Conservatives can write them off completely. If the Cameroons wish to waste time trying to convert these urban Marxists, let them.

London is the City of Dreadful Night. I know. I worked there for eight years.

its a bad advert because it single handedly manages to alienate three groups, long established in London, from the Conservative message:

1. the irish
2. the latinos
3. the muslims

in each of those three cases the ad points to livingstones support of Gerry Adams (isnt the war over? why drag that old chesnut up? its not as if its a big secret is it? ), Castro (again, not a big secret - its well known), and Al Qaradari (or whatever his name is - well thats the Muslim vote lost..) - trouble is , all of them have a kind of "folk hero" aura around them within their communities, even though most folks disagree with them. all of those figures are anti-establishment - and Ken capitalises on that vibe to win elections. and he does it time and time again. to attack the figures he admires only gives him more credence. "look, arent i right? look at these Tories attacking my trade deal with Cuba" or whatever it is this week - by attacking these "folk heroes" you give credence to Ken.

it would be MUCH better if you focussed on the central message of conservatism which is liberty and freedom and democracy. you guys need to re-explain what "liberty" is and why it is so important to a free society.

We now have an Orwellian system of the congestion charge , which you dont tackle - where banks of CCTV cameras now charge ME, a British citizen, for driving into MY capital. I dont think Churchill , even in his worst nightmares, could have even dreamt of something like that happening in Britain, save for Hitler invading.

You also dont tackle the rising crime rate in London and the almost U.S. levels of shootings there - all under Ken's watch.

Sure its easy to poke fun at Ken's Castro/Adams/Chavez fixation - but that wont win you an election. Most folks just see that as an eccentricity.

so ease off the "who ken supports" aspect , and delve more into the "what ken is doing right now" aspects , that affect ALL londoners lives. that way you'll have something more hard hitting and will resonant with former Labour and Lib Dem voters. After all you have to get those votes to beat Ken.

Getting rid of the congestion charge and abolishing the Quango that runs it would be a good start.

and another thing i really disagree with is this godawful "conservative" moniker. i'm not a conservative - i dont want to "conserve" the current top-down British statist approach. i'm a progressive - i want to liberate people away from government. its a pity that the left have grabbed the "progressive" meme , when in eastern europe the policies of Margaret Thatcher have been implemented and are any BUT "conservative".. far from it. lets drop this "conservative" tag for its holding us back. we have to think of something else that matches our ideals of personal freedom, personal responsiblity,and less government.

I was really looking forward to this ad - perhaps the hype led to too high expectations on my part but I was disappointed, even though it was professionally done.
1. It alluded to his extreme political right timbeliefs and courting of autocratic extreme left wing idealists. Although these have never really been discussed properly by the media, it did come over as just hearsay and potentially harmless.
2. It didn't really focus on his poor record regarding transport/ crime etc - I would have liked significant time spent on his ineffectiveness.
3. I do however think this is the RIGHT TIME to attack him on his record. Highlight the problems first, then put forward the solution. Now is the time to highlight the problems. When the Conservative Candidate is chosen, they they will be well set to offer up some workable solutions, and attacks on his record will also then sound like part of a chorus rather than a lone voice from someone "who would say that, wouldn't they".

Thank you very much for this video. Negative campaigning against the only real left winger in the country with any power can only serve to increase his popularity.

The idea of Tory money being spent to boost Ken gives me a nice warm feeling. Keep it up!

Just remember this slogan "Dont Labour It" it can be applied to everything Labour touches.it should be associated with the Homer Simpson "Doh!"
NHS "Dont Labour It"
Transport "Dont Labour It"
Congestion Charge "Dont Labour It"
House of Lords "Dont Labour It"
Countryside "Dont Labour It"
social deprivation "Dont Labour it Maaaan" or "oh nah man that's labour in it" a casual term for something crap.

I had a look at your team, one question, how do you manage to keep up with them all? I must cost the company a lot of money ringing them up all the time.

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