blogging will protect you from the terrible secret of David Cameron

Metafilter! I love you all. I needed a crowd, and you brought me a mob. It’s been a four-figure day for the blog by 10 a.m., and more importantly created a truly superb boom in Dave from PR remixes. Looking at the detailed server log from TYR Classic, loads of people are googling for things like “blank david cameron” – a telling comment in itself – and “cameron poster generator”. You will be infected. It’s worth noting that it’s not just posters; I am aware of three poster generator sites – Andy Barefoot’s, the Cameronizer, and, whose domain name is a minor classic in itself.

Do I look like Obama? The terrible secret of space. Inevitably, Cthulhu made an appearance, as if enough malevolent alien gods and unconscious drives too eerie to even think about hadn’t been in the original. And again. Kittens. The truth. This one is brilliant:

The Conservatives: rather like bog roll

Others: Watching. Bicycle. 400 years without sun. Pong. Love the colour blue, lies, and broken promises? Vote Conservative. Worst-case scenario. Dignitas. How is babby formed. Cameron vs. Withnail & I. New in town and eager to please.

Here’s another of mine. He voted for it

Lessons? For a start, the Vital Importance of Stable URIs and REST. When Andy deployed the feature that produced a stable URI for your poster, there was an explosion of creativity. Two reasons – first, you could show them off, share them with others, promote other people’s work. Links introduced the social dimension. Secondly, it got rid of several steps in the process – download the image, re-upload it to flickr/somewebhost/whatever, then pass it around. Making it a Web service gave the user instant results.

Less technically, the poster and its fate tell us something about Dave from PR. The whole project of Cameron is essentially a drive to implement all the most satirised features of Tony Blair; they’re working on the theory not just that the 1997 campaign was an effective model for getting elected, but that the public actually likes media manipulation and verb-free sentences and trust-me face and truthiness and faintly Jesus-y canned emotion. It’s not the ad campaign – it’s the product.

As a result, everything about him has the odd over-perfectly stylised quality of that poster, and is therefore permanently poised on the edge of being self-satirising. It may be our last best hope to push him over it at every opportunity.

Today, I love all the people. (Although, so did Erich Mielke. So don’t kid yourself I’m going soft.)

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