29 October 2007

Huhne vs. Clegg: The Websites

The websites of the two Lib Dem leadership candidates have settled down to what looks to be their "final design" and I thought now might be the time to deconstruct them to see what they tell us about the pair... and possibly to lightly rip the piss out of them too.

Chris Huhne's Chris2Win.org

The first thing that strikes me: It's just so green.

See? And I get that he is trying to convey the message

"Hey, I care about the environment, hell, look, I've even invited the environment to set up home on my website"

But does he really have to push it quite so hard? I know this might come as a shock to Huhne and his team, but not everyone cares as deeply as they do about climate change and global warming. If they're like me, they know there's a problem and they're willing to do their bit to help, but they're not going to base their voting preferences solely on that one issue. I don't want to see our party become "greener", we're already seen as the mainstream "green party", and those within the party know he's the Environment spokesperson (and a very effective and articulate one at that), so I don't see what he's trying to achieve with this overwhelming colour palette. Maybe it went well with the curtains, because I can't see any other use for it.

This is in fact the Huhne website mark II and aside from a shift in colour (from liberal yellow to environmental green), the slogan has changed too, from

A fairer society. People in charge.

to

The experience to lead
The vision to succeed

Presumably he wasn't happy with fairness and empowerment and wanted to make sure his personal characteristics were put at the centre of the campaign.

Another casualty of the redesign has been a strong, sensible banner picture to this smarmy git, "everyday guy" travesty:

Nick Clegg's NickClegg.com

NickClegg.com redirects you straightaway to NickClegg.com/support - the virtual equivalent of "please be friends with me" - where you can sign up to support "Nick's" campaign:

And then you can click along to the main page, entitled, "Look at Nick being all inclusive with the ethnics":

Seriously, how patronising can you be? What, could they not find a picture of Nick speaking to some black children?

As James Graham notes, this site took a "geological age" to get up, being previously a holding page where you could sign up. So, was it worth it? No, no it was not. There's nothing special on the there that couldn't have been knocked up with a solid's days work. Still, at least it's not green.

Issue not being discussed today: Huhne's comments on the Trident nuclear debate. Don't understand it, don't want to.

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