This morning's Times carries an interesting article about how senior figures in the Labour Party have tried to stop the Electoral Commission from scrutinising the forthcoming leadership election. They quote an Electoral Commission source saying
"We would assume Gordon Brown doesn't need any money. He would take the line there's no campaign going on at the moment and he doesn't have a website."No website you say? Well I guess it all depends on how one defines "website". If you mean he has no textual presence on the Internet putting out his stall for leadership then yes, arguably he doesn't. However, if by website we mean the back-end preparations such as registering domains and putting the infrastructure in place to build it, then actually he probably does and the work for it appears to have started between October and December last year.
Gordon Brown's leadership campaign website, should there actual be a contest, will - on the balance of probabilities - be located at "gordonbrown4leader.[insert tld here]". How would I know this? Well it's rather simple. All the most obvious permutations for the domain have been being registered since October last year by the assistant producer Rachel Bull at the political campaign production company Silverfish TV.
Silverfish TV are the people behind the Dave the Chameleon advert, whose client list includes errr.... HM Treasury, as well as the Labour Party and lots of other Labour Party connected organisations such as Progress and the The John Smith Trust. John Prescott is quoted on their website saying they are "bloody brilliant".
The Electoral Commission may not think there is a website visible but there are certainly domains, ready and waiting with holding pages, and the website that is presumably being built by someone will no doubt be an all singing and dancing new media web 2.0 love-in too be sure.
Update: As per my post here, Channel 4 News have followed this story up and Silverfish TV say they are cybersquatting.