Monday, November 19, 2007

Dirty Politics - the covert way

I have no idea if these blogs are sponsored by Clegg himself, his team, are by outsiders, activists or just members of the public: this is the joy of the blogosphere! However there are two blogs that have been created to simply attack Chris Huhne. The Anti-Chris! reports on the fact that Huhne was instrumental in the break up of his current wife's previous marriage, dubbing him the home wrecker! There is even a section that implicates Huhne in leading one of his step-daughters into a depression expressed through poetry, the blog states this was due to the fact that "at the most vulnerable age when she lost her father because of Huhne’s “charm” offensive".
There is then Chris Almighty, a rebuttal of Sunday's attack by Huhne by undermining him and his argument. It is interesting, but the bottom line that the poster wishes to publicise is that "He really is a horrible man who covers his unpleasant character with a thin veneer".

None of this perhaps should be a surprise. The blogosphere is the perfect place to spread rumour anonymously in order to undermine the campaign of an opponent. Such things can work, I imagine some of this will reach the mainstream media and may enter the public consciousness. It will not convert Huhne supporters,, equally it may not win Clegg friends if he sponsored it or not. The problem here is that overt negativity, such as the 'Calamity Clegg' dossier and the 'Anti Chris' style rumour-mongering simply gives a negative impression of both the attacker (actual or perceived) and the victim. If Clegg can distance himself from such activities while Huhne is unlikely to shrug off that dossier (despite it being normal fare for a campaign), maybe Clegg will emerge the nicer guy. What if he cannot???

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