Time to get back in the saddle with another episode of the Dale ‘n Dizzy show:
Remember the last time Labour MPs had to apologise for making dodgy videos? No? Well I bet Tom Watson and Sion Simon so. Well, Dizzy has a good little story HERE about 15 Labour MPs in highly marginal seats filming videos in the Houses of Parliament. He speculates that they are for use in an election campaign - I suspect that they have been filmed as a contingency for an October election. However, I find it highly debateable as to whether the Serjeant at Arms would have given permission for such videos to be filmed on the Parliamentary Estate. Perhaps a question or two should be asked…
Whatever is going here? Take a look. We have two pages of videos titles “[Constituency Name’s] Labour MP talking about Gordon Brown”. Each video is professionally done, they only appear on Google and not on Labour websites or the Labour YouTube channel. They were all posted on the same date (27th July), they were all appear to have been uploaded anonymously.
They’re all filmed within the buildings of Parliament (did they get permission from the Serjeant at Arms?), they’re all talking about how brilliant the Government and Gordon is and how it will be good for their constituency, and, last but by no means least, they’re all MPs in marginal or hyper-marginal constituency with the exception of Preston (however that has had boundary changes).
Anyone want to place a bet that this footage is going to appear in Party Political broadcasts in the run up to the next General Election, possibly nationally but definitely locally?
Watch them all here.
Nice spot Dizzy, but you really should do a little more research before you start speculating. Not only has Curious Hamster taken care of the query about filming in the House of Commons (which Iain’s acknowledged - sort of):
Since the Grant Shapps “1234 incident”, I’ve noticed that Iain Dale has written a few posts on the subject of Labour and the interwebs. Today, taking the lead from Dizzy, he suggests that the Labour Party has been up to no good filming interviews in parliament without permission from the Serjeant at Arms and loading them up onto Google video.
In this case, you can almost hear the straws crackling under his grasp. 15 Labour MPs have filmed interviews in the same spot in Westminster Hall. Given that the filming of interviews is specifically allowed without need for permission in one part of Westminster Hall and given that one of the MPs filmed was the one who gave the answer linked above, I think it’s safe to assume that permission wasn’t require in this instance.
But a quick whizz around the websites of several of the MPs who’ve appeared in these video shows that they all appear to have something else in common…
…they all have a new-ish official Labour Party MP websites, which include a pod/videocast section, using the same Tangent Labs system that serves as the backend to Labour’s main party website, the main difference being that the MP sites are actually hosted by Tangent Labs, where Labour has its main site hosted on a server at Rackspace.
So Dizzy’s possible ‘leaked’ PPB footage turns out to be no more than a job lot of short videos filmed for MPs websites and without checking the numbers, one suspects that given the general theme of these videos - how things are different now Brown’s in charge - the significance of these MPs being, in the main, from marginal constituencies, is no more than the faint suspicion that Blair’s unpopularity following the Iraq War might just have had a fair bit to do with how and why they seat is quite so marginal, hence the need to big up the fact that there’s a new guy in charge.
It’s a nice spot by Dizzy but, as usual, the real story turns out to be considerably more mundane than his speculations.
UPDATE - Dizzy’s posted a response that’s worth answering…
1: I never said they hadn’t got permission nor did I speculate that they didn’t. I simply said “did they?”
This being the question answered by Curious Hamster.
2: I don’t have to do anymore research because it’s just my personal website where I express my personal opinions. The idea that I can’t write my opinions and ask a question online unless I jump through lots of hoops available to political saddos who work in Westminster earning peanuts is.. well it’s bollocks.
Funnily enough, I always find that doing a modicum of background research makes the difference between telling a story for what it actually is - Dizzy could easily have played to the gallery with a ‘look at this bunch of grovelling shites’ story, which is about as much as his discovery actually merits - as opposed to having your speculations shot down in flames on the back of five minutes of fact checking and being made to look a bit of a tinfoil-hatted dickhead…
But that’s just my take on things…
3: I have looked around the MPs websites, not many of them have them.
Okay, so here’s the list of the ones that do have them online…
Jim Knight MP - here
Paul Clark MP - here
Paddy Tipping - links to the video on Google Vids from this page
Andrew Smith MP - on his biography page
Claire Ward MP - another linker rather than embedder
Mark Todd MP - here
Stephen Ladyman MP - yet another linker…
Sarah McCarthy-Fry MP - here
Ruth Kelly MP - links from here
There are a few other assorted videos housed on the same account - here’s one of David Milliband talking about climate change as it appears on the website of Celia Barlow MP, while Anne Snelgrove has a couple of interviews with Hilary Benn and John Hutton on her site.
4: I am doing some different reseach though and there may be, as Ed Balls would say, “more to come”
Ooh, I can hardly wait…