More Tory Sockpuppetry?

This, from the Groan’s ‘Backbencher column’ –


What on earth are Conservative campaigners in Ealing Southall up to?First Tory byelection manager Grant Shapps appeared to post a message on Libblog LibDem Voice in the guise of a downbeat Lib Dem who was losing hope (this strategy, the Backbencher understands, is known as “astroturfing” in webspeak). Then Grant explains to Iain Dale that someone hacked into his YouTube account (the password was 1234) and was impersonating him. Now people calling themselves “Pete Burton” and “sadboy” – appropriate, the Backbencher feels – have been posting similarly defeatist comments. Both share an IP address with a Tory councillor in Sutton, Tim Crowley. The Lib Dems suspect, understandably, that the three are in some way related. Sadboys. Get off the blogs. Get some leaflets printed. Talk to some constituents.

And if you’re going to do subterfuge, have some ambition.

Led me to this:

There has been a series of three comments in the last few days on Lib Dem Voice under the username “timcrowley” (see this thread and this thread). They have all been from the same IP address, all give the same email address and it’s clear that the comments are either from Sutton Conservative Councillor Tim Crowley himself (or from someone pretending to be him, or from someone who has discovered his password is 1234 etc etc). That’s because of content in the comments such as:

When the voters of Sutton see how the Ruling Lib Dem cllrs are voting through retrospective allowance payments we will see how the electorate react.

Not surprisingly, he doesn’t really like the Liberal Democrats, but the comments have had some content rather than just being abuse or hectoring. All ok so far … so how dashed unlucky for him that the same IP address was then used to post a comment on the thread about Terry Sutton:

Why no comments on this disaster news. Have we still got our heads in the sand?

Note that use of the little word “our” as if it was a comment from a Liberal Democrat supporter. Moreover, it appeared in the name of sadboy (a new one on this site) and gave an email address with the name Pete Burton in it (another new one to this site).

Could Sadboy / Pete Burton by any chance by Tim Crowley in (not very good) disguise? I’m open to explanations, especially as it would really be very, very daft to be caught faking a comment as a Liberal Democrat just after the Grant Shapps affair broke now, wouldn’t it? If there is an innocent explanation, do let me know and I’ll be happy to amend the story.
There is something quite apt in the use of ‘sadboy’ for a sockpuppet nickname.

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