At the risk of being a grumpy old radical, I can still remember when supporting a campaign involved spending countless school lunchtimes arguing with my fellow students why they should sign an anti-Apartheid petition, giving up teenage Saturday mornings to debate nuclear disarmament in the local high street, and ditching homework to join a 100,000-strong marching for jobs in London. If I had been old enough I would probably have joined the Grunwick picket line.
While the Grunwick campaign ultimately failed, I can guarantee online campaigns (or consumer boycotts) won't build substantial support for the Kettle Foods workers' attempt to unionise, as trade unions have undermined their credibility as defenders of job and fighters for better conditions. Let's not pretend, as so many old radicals try to, that there is a technical fix online to an 'offline' ideological problem. Otherwise, we risk undermining the potential of our wonderful technological creations when these campaigns fail for good old-fashioned political reasons.