Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2681

Will Whatsapp win the election?

This article is over 4 years, 6 months old
Issue 2681
Corbyn should organise big rallies to gather support
Corbyn should organise big rallies to gather support (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Momentum says it’s driving forward path-breaking campaigning methods that will win the election.

“Past a hallway strewn with bikes, a small nucleus of 20 to 30-somethings were glued to laptops and working to shape the Labour campaign,” read one effusive Guardian article.

“At one end of the room a digital team worked on making videos for social media.”

They’re not just making videos and memes though. At the heart of the campaign is an app to direct activists to canvass in the constituency it deems best.

“Let’s go teams” are organised via WhatsApp to run phone-banking sessions from their living rooms.

The idea is to encourage mass participation in Labour’s election campaign. Yet the vision of a mass movement here is still one that sees the majority of people as passive consumers of Labour’s message.

It sees people as the objects of a campaign to get them to vote, not in charge of a movement to transform society for themselves.

Labour’s campaign at the last election really was different—but not because it used new technology to enhance traditional campaigning methods.

There was a sense of struggle and insurgency, largely through events such as open-air rallies that felt at times like demonstrations against years of Tory rule.

We need that on a much bigger scale this time.

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Latest News

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance