FCS Redux?

Last week, Tory blogger Donal Blaney gave us the following supposed background to the unhappy TV debut of a new website connected to the Labour Party:

Guido links to Derek Draper’s appearance on Channel 4 News last night, debating with Tim Montgomerie, on the launch of LabourList. When Channel 4 tried to link to LabourList, the site crashed. For once Chris Paul’s paranoia was correct.

What Guido didn’t reveal is that that was down to a coordinated effort of Conservative Future activists!

The posting was decried by a number of commentators, some of whom, preposterously, alleged a “criminal conspiracy” when all that Blaney had hinted at was something akin to jamming a switchboard.  But in fact it apparently turns out that the claim was just a joke to bait political opponents:

What is wrong with you people? LOL. The very notion that I personally coordinated CF activists on this is laughable. I never said I did. I didn’t. If LabourList crashed it is because it is run by amateurs…But I DO love your conspiracy theories, keep ’em coming…


…According to paranoid leftist bloggers, the police are also investigating whether CF or its predecessor, the Young Conservatives, sabotaged The Titanic, Sam Fox’s appearance at The Brits 20 years ago, the Millennium Dome and the Terminal 5 baggage system.

In fact, though, the idea of Young Tory activists crashing a website is quite believable if we think back to the 1980s, when groups like the Federation of Conservative Students and the Young Conservatives undertook all manner of disruptive counter-measures against political opponents, such as CND or left-wing groups in the National Union of Students. The FCS is even rumoured to have had a guide to making life difficult for opponents, named after none other than G. Gordon Liddy.  However, it’s not a story that’s as well-known as it should be; Tory lawyers such as Blaney now make libel threats on behalf of those not keen for old newspaper reports about their alleged 1980s exploits to be discussed in public.

1980s Young Tories also liked to shock with transgressive antics, and we can perceive a shade of that in this recent report:

A YOUNG Conservative activist who dressed up as Madeleine McCann apologised to the missing child’s parents last night after his actions triggered widespread condemnation and caused humiliation for the party. Kate and Gerry McCann had demanded a public apology from Matthew Lewis – who has appeared alongside the Tory leader, David Cameron – after he donned a blonde wig and pink pyjamas and carried a teddy bear and a vial of fake blood at a party, in an apparent attempt to mimic the child.

As others have noted, this silly stunt would have gone unnoticed had not Lewis posted details to Facebook. Now, thanks to the internet, it is unlikely that Lewis will ever be able to shake off the association in the decades ahead, and any political hopes are now permanently beached.

(More on the FCS here. Hat tip to Chris Paul and Lib Dem Voice)

One Response

  1. […] (see here), and I blogged on some similarities between young Conservative radicals then and now here. A “Movement” out to “purge” is putting it too strongly; but it’s […]

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