Is this the earliest recorded piece of Astroturfing?

Was mucking around with Google over lunchtime when I came across a very old (October 1999) BBC ‘Talking Point’ that contains a couple of rather familiar names.

The question is ‘How will history view John Major?’ – this predates public knowledge of the whole business of shagging Edwina Currie, and there lurking in the comments we have this:

He may have been decent but lacked leadership. He should have faced down the left of his party and gone in the direction that Hague is taking the Tories. A wholeheartedly Thatcherite party will stand much more chance of success against a centrist New Labour.

Paul Staines, UK

Not much of pundit back in those days, eh Paul?

Still, his is not the only curious familar name to show up on the page, as about six ro seven comments down, we find this:

John Major was a political fluke. Only Labour’s inability to win the 1992 general election has made him anything other than a footnote in history. His government was incompetent, weak and dogmatic. He was simply not up to the task of modernising conservatism and so his legacy may well be the long term decline of that party: he has let the Thatcherites take it over because he could offer no sensible alternative. In that sense, if no other, he may have done Britain a favour.
Adrian McMenamin, UK 

My, my. Its a small world, isn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Is this the earliest recorded piece of Astroturfing?

  1. Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that image at the top of the page. Surely that must be copyright protected by the V For Vendetta people? Would be a shame if so, because I rather like it.

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