A brief history of Tories being bad at social media

A brief history of Tories being bad at social media
Digital deficencies — The Conservative Party are not very good at social media. Following Amber Rudd’s recent Partridge-esque Twitter video, we revisit some of our favourite examples of Tories on the internet.

By now, it’s no secret that the Conservative Party has struggled to truly harness the power of social media.

In February, it was revealed that Tory chairman Brandon Lewis was hiring an army of paid tweeters to help combat their shortcomings online. Similarly, reports of Instagram training sessions – in which MPs were encouraged to use their accounts to act like “real people” – began to surface a few months later.

And so begs the question: Have these attempts to address Tories’ various deficiencies on social platforms been successful? No! No, they absolutely have not!

Last weekend, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd shared a video on Twitter, in which she, flanked by seven other people, stood on Hastings Pier and called out Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell for recent comments he’d made about the area being “left behind.”

In just over two minutes, Rudd and her nameless septet manage to perform a Greatest Hits set of Bad Content, in which they stand – huddled, like the cast of Entourage, if Entourage was even more shit – and contest McDonnell’s points. Thrilling, it is not. 

Anyhow, to celebrate it’s awkwardness, here are some of our favourite examples of the Conservative Party on social media.


Remember Activate? Yes, you remember Activate. Intended as an organisation to rival Momentum, the Tory-supporting youth group endured a brief spell in the spotlight: they turned up, did a bad few memes, before disbanding after members were caught joking about ‘gassing chavs’ in a series of leaked WhatsApp messages. Nice!

Greg Knight’s 2016 campaign video (with a focus on the jingle)

[*Clears throat*]: You’ll get accountability! With Conservative delivery! Make sure this time you get it right! Vote for Greg Knight! [*returns to cryogenic chamber*]

Gavin Williamson’s Instagram

Gavin Williamson is the intern that refused to leave. “Heading off soon, Gav?” you ask, but he just rolls his eyes and laughs it off. It’s been two years now, and he’s started wearing a suit to the office. One morning, you come in and he’s sat at your desk. Next week, he’s the Defence Secretary.

“Is Gavin still sleeping in the store cupboard?” a civil servant queries. “I think so,” you reply, vacantly scrolling through his Instagram – a painful archive of meetings, meals and photographic evidence that he has drunk beer on at least two occasions – as he delivers a presentation to your team. “Why has he uploaded a photo of his lawnmower?” 

via Instagram

Ben Bradley’s defamatory tweet

Pro: Ben Bradley is responsible for one of the most retweeted posts by a British politician, ever!

Con: It was a grovelling apology for a defamatory tweet! Against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn!

Verdict: Ben Bradley is Not Good at Twitter!

The Conservative Party Conference posts

At the beginning of the year, Conservative HQ upped their Instagram presence for their Annual Party Conference, so that users could get a behind-the-scenes at all of the fun going on backstage.

The problem was, there was no fun was going on backstage. Never has a place been depicted in such a way that fun – which doesn’t even sound like a word anymore – has seemed so devastatingly unattainable. Highlights included: Jeremy Hunt sitting down [ends]. 

via Instagram

The Matt Hancock App

Picture the scene: Sunday morning, you and your significant other, draped on the sofa, catching up on Love Island.  “Why do you keep checking your phone, babe?” It’s nothing, they say. “Just reading.”

Except they are not just reading. They are on the Matt Hancock App, a social platform that shares photos and videos of its titular hero, as well as allowing users to ‘friend’ and chat with each other. Look, they are connecting with fellow West Suffolk constituents, right under your nose.  Look at you, stupid, you’re losing them. You are losing them to Matt Hancock and his Matt Hancock app. They are engaging with like-minded users on issues and policy and there’s nothing – nothing – you can do about it.

via Instagram

Honourable mention: David Cameron’s ‘chaos’ tweet

Hindsight, am I right guys!

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