It has been confirmed that Activate – the "Tory Momentum” that never seemed to stop stepping on rakes – has ceased operations. Former Activate spokesperson Sam Ancliff told the PoliticsHome website that work commitments and "the stigma associated with the group" means that nobody wants to take on the task of making Tories appeal to the young.
But just because people are too embarrassed to continue, doesn't mean the whole thing was a complete and total waste of time. Far from it. "Ultimately, I feel Activate was a huge success," said Ancliff. And when you think about it, who among us could disagree? There is nothing more dignified than quitting while you're ahead.
Here is a brief history of Activate's most epic achievements:
August to September 2017:
Activate launches and gets laughed at across the political spectrum for being the IRL political version of that "how do you do, fellow kids?" meme. Left-wing magazine Red Pepper calls it "100 percent astroturf", while right-wing blog Guido Fawkes says it "needs work".
Activate's first major coup: it is revealed that members of the Activate WhatsApp group are joking about "shooting peasants", "gassing chavs", "chavocide" and introducing "compulsory birth control on chavs". Good work, guys.
Yet more crushing victories for Activate: They change their Twitter handle, losing control of their old handle to a parody account. Their new handle is quickly taken over by a hacker. There are a lot of confusing claims of hacking, which in no way detract from Activate’s core mission of reinvigorating the country’s young Conservatives.
Activate denies that it ever officially launched, and the homepage of its website carries a pop-up full of disclaimers saying that it is "in no way, shape or form associated with the Conservative Party", and is not the "Tory momentum". The organisation goes into hibernation.
March to June 2018:
Activate announce a re-launch party with publicity material that looks like it was made with MS Publisher 98. The March event is a roaring success: VICE sneaks in and reports that 28 people packed out the 150 capacity venue, and that chairman Gary Markwell is in awe of the social media success of former EDL leader Tommy Robinson.
Activate’s official spokesperson Sam Ancliff sends us an email alerting us to "a number of factually incorrect and slanderous items", and demanding that these, or the entire article, "be removed within 24 hours or further legal action will be pursued". We publish a heartfelt, sincere apology, and do not remove the original article. We never hear from Sam’s lawyers.
It is reported that Activate has closed down, again, less than two months after its official (re)raunch.
Take a bow, sirs.
Next week: The Titanic – can Brexit emulate its successful maiden voyage?