There are, of course, thousands of young socialists who are remarkably adept at social media. But you don’t want one of those. The brief is quite clear that socialists, especially those who may have expressed support for the Corbyn project, will not be considered. And the first job of the new “social listening” guru will probably be to root out these people from the party itself.
You glance at the social media consultants in the States, but they are all connected with Trump. Russia, the home of some of the hackers you most admire, is something of an issue for geo-political reasons.
And then, you have an epiphany. Israel!
Israel was a pioneer of electronic surveillance, manipulation and blackmail. It even had its own notorious specialist group dedicated to these cyber-warfare activities. Surely someone from Unit 8200 might be available, especially now that, under Starmer, Labour is turning its back on the cause of Palestinian rights.
“Hang about. This guy looks promising. He was an analyst and an officer in Unit 8200. Nearly five years in Israeli military intelligence spying on Palestinians is just the kind of experience we are looking for.”
“What’s his name?”
“Is he socialist?”
“Oh no. He was running the Israeli Labour Party campaign when they got wiped out. Just six seats these days.”
“He sounds perfect. Let’s get him in.”
And get him in they did. He’s been in charge of social media surveillance since December last year. And he’s doing a good job, trawling through members’ tweets and Facebook posts to keep the party free from any socialist tendencies whilst removing any reference to his military experience from his LinkedIn profile.
Appropriately neither Kaplan nor Starmer will comment.
Today from the everysmith vaults: Rose Simpson is publishing a memoir. Based on interviews and extracts, Muse, Odalisque, Handmaiden: A Girl's Life in the Incredible String Band is fascinating stuff and in preparation for its official publication, I am working my way through the ISB oeuvre and loving it.