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Monday, June 02, 2008

The Game's Up

Twenty-five months and 834 posts later, it's time to stop the charade.

I've done my best to disguise my identity all this time - pretending to be Jules Pipe, later Chris Evans, then a disaffected member of Hackney Labour Group and most recently Derek Hatton. I think I gave it a pretty damned good go.

To understand this blog, you need to go right back to the beginning and see why I set it up. Back in May 2006 we'd just celebrated a fantastic event. "Labour had an amazing victory in Hackney's council elections on 4 May - Jules Pipe re-elected as Mayor and 44 Labour councillors elected vs. 9 Tories, 3 Lib Dems and 1 Green", I wrote at the time. All I got for my troubles was a single comment - and that was referring me to someone else's blog. My second post wasn't much more successful, either. I set out my credentials in the world of political journalism by proudly publishing links to my writings in The Guardian and New Statesman - only to receive not one single comment.

By now I'd realised how pathetic my efforts were looking. Wanting to move up from boring Hackney to the bigger political stage, I wrote a lengthy analysis of the 2005 General Election results and, my hopes raised, sub-captioned it "Third time lucky". But it wasn't. Of my two respondents, one blamed the Tories for Labour's success and the other blamed the LibDems. Things were getting desperate and I knew that if I wasn't to suffer the same ignominy as a blogger that I'd experienced in my earlier attempts to become a Member of Parliament, I needed to do something. And it needed to be something radical.

That was the moment when, as a PR guru, I was struck by the metaphorical blinding light and this blog was born. It didn't work perfectly on day one because I still hadn't formulated the right approach at that stage. But once I started to synchronise the two publications, towards the end of June, the readers started to pour in. There's nothing like a good political scrap - and I gave my readers nothing like a good political scrap. I gave them war and, as with my heroine Maggie in the Falklands and my hero Tony in Iraq, it worked brilliantly. Best of all, I replaced the miserable, boring character of reality with the lovable, sexy Luke Akehurst that made readers simply beg me to uncross my legs.
"Come up to Beatty Road and see me sometime"
I did occasionally get a bit carried away with myself, laying into the real me while pretending to be the fake Akehurst. With the benefit of hindsight I wouldn't have said so much about the local election vote rigging, paedophilia in Hackney Labour Group, dirty tricks campaigns, millions of pounds in wasted council tax, conspiracies against the PM, the destruction of Hackney's heritage, fake disabilities, corruption in the police, my apartment in Spain, back-stabbing on Hackney Council, John Prescott, cash for honours, bankruptcy, abuses on the Planning Committee, bookmakers, alcoholism, nepotism, Hazel Blears, cannabis, Boris Johnson or the Olympic Games. And nor would I have wasted my time writing blog posts about the little, irrelevant people of Hackney. But then hindsight is a wonderful thing.

It all worked brilliantly well. My readership is at an all-time peak, with virtually everyone who's still in the Labour Party coming regularly to my blog for comfort. OK - I get slagged off a bit in the comments - but what the hell, that's just the price of fame. I wish I'd thought of Tourette's syndrome before Big Brother came up with the idea. Then I could say "Fuck off to the fucking lot of you", without having to put those damned asterisks in.

When the going gets tough - the tough get goingSo - what's been achieved in those two years?

The Labour Party is at an all-time low in the opinion polls. We've replaced the most popular leader in our history with the most unpopular in our history. The Party is on the verge of bankruptcy and several major trades unions are threatening to pull the funding plug. The Tories run London, the ScotNats run Scotland and we're wiped off the map in Wales. Nobody wants to run for the NEC in case they are liable for the Party's debts, several prominent Party members have resigned after major scandals, Labour has no policies for the future and the Cabinet is such a hotbed of conspiracy it makes the Rome of Claudius look like a garden tea party with Rowan Williams.

But look on the bright side. I got a massive 66 comments on my real blog over the past two days alone - and that was a weekend when the richer Party members were out of the country for a break and the poorer ones were getting pissed on London Underground to celebrate the alcohol ban. I've achieved my goal. I'm the BBC face of Labour blogging and I'm becoming more famous, more successful and richer by the day. And, after all, that's what I set out to achieve.

So, from Miranda and me... that's all folks! See you back on my real blog.

22 comments:

Sir Julian Pipeshaft, OBE, UB40, MTV said...

What! What!

Behind this loveable piss-take there's a fist of steel, very well hidden. Don't leave us. We need someone to rip it out of the pretentious gobs***e, full of his pompous prattling about the poor when he couldn't give a damn so long as the Hackney sheeple vote Labour and they sneak in thanks to the twee marginal Harlows of this world.

Lord London Fields Lido is not enough. Not the Clissold is not enough. Don't leave us!

ilikeakehurstfanclub said...

This is all well and good - but what the heck am I supposed to do with the 10,000 XXL-size orange tie-and-dye T-shirts you ordered, sporting the logo: "Visit lukeakehurstsblog.blogspot.com - because I'm worthless!"

Pip pip!

Guido Fawkes said...

Please email guido.fawkes@order-order.com

Luke Akehurst said...

So which Guido are you? I bet you're a fake one. Or maybe you're one of those web robots who has to ask for email addresses because you can't decipher the coded one in my sidebar.

Btw, did you know that there's a theory doing the rounds that I'm not really Luke Akehurst pretending to be Luke Akehurst, but Barrack Obama having a laugh but needing to stop now that the nomination is about to be won.

Dave Cameron said...

Luke - we owe you a big debt of gratitude. As you say the Labour Pary is in meltdown and we owe it as much to your contributions as to Gordon's. I'm just sorry youre bowing out now before its too late.

Miranda said...

You may be off, but I'm afraid I'm going nowhere. Thanks for the free publicity over the last few months though. You helped my reader stats no end!(And this is really Miranda writing this.)

Luke Akehurst said...

Yeah - you play Miranda Grell and I'll play Sharon Stone. I like this game.

lord london fields lido said...

Luke, I really hope you're not bowing out.

Your blog has provided the best and most consistent opposition to the Nu Labour project I've seen here in Hackney; whilst the other Akehurst takes every possible opportunity to hang himself with his own rhetoric, where would we be without Mark Trotter, the olympic logos, Miranda Grell and of course the infamous town hall statue competition?

If I ever meet you I will not hesitate to buy you a pint*.

TTFN,

LLFL

*nb this offer only applies to the author of this blog. not the other akehurst - i don't like you. Just in case you hadn't noticed.

Maximum Caller said...

I thinking of starting a Facebook Group "Save the real Luke Akehurst Blog" What do you think? Jules Pipe and Andrew Boff and Meg Hillslide think it's great idea

lord london fields lido said...

i'll join!

ilikeakehurstfanclub said...

Lord London Fields Lido should note that his kind offer to purchase the REAL Luke Akehurst a "pint" may go awry.

The spoof Akehurst has been spotted awkwardly grasping at a half-pint glass of bitter whilst trying - and failing miserably - to show the common touch.

On the other hand, the genuine Akehurst drinks nectar that emanates from French bottles, stopped up with Portuguese cork. Except when he's in Competa, of course!

Luke Akehurst said...

Then it must be someone else attempting to impersonate me. I can assure you that I've never drunk from a half pint glass in my life.

Luke Akehurst said...

Me neither - haven't drunk bitter for 18 years either.

Who is the "third Luke"?

Luke Akehurst said...

It must be that bloody socialist chap, Dave Nellist, then. Hang on a minute, why am I talking to myself?

Luke Akehurst said...

God, people must really hate me. My fake blog has had more visitors in the past three days since I closed it down than in any consecutive three days since I started it up. They only visit in such numbers when I'm no longer here.

Dyanne Costello said...

So why don't you make a come back? Then we can ignore you again!

Uncle Pipey said...

Lukey I'm missing you gingerbums

Anonymous said...

I notice Miranda Grell's website is still going strong. Never mind, Luke, never mind!

a very public sociologist said...

I'm sure you'll be back, Luke. How can a glamour puss who taught Sharon Stone everything she needed to know about crotch-centric seduction resist the bright lights of being a top blogger?

Lord Low of Dalston said...

Barratts are on the brink of going bust. Jules Pipeshaft will have to pick up the bill for his tower bollocks in Dalston and thankfully it will put a stop to Barratts sorry Estates Plus carving up the Gascoyne Estate for it's Olympic Border Flats

Anonymous said...

FFS COME BACK. This is just the time we need you, when the pompous pimple is crawling into bed with Murdoch and behaving like an authoritarian Thatcherite over David Davis.

LLL JJJ said...

Where have you gone? Look Luke Akehurst is exposed in episode 2 of this set of programmes http://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/