Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

McCarthy in Twitterhunt

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Labour’s ‘Twitter tsar’ Kerry McCarthy has been the subject of one of comedian Ross Noble’s ‘Twitterbombard Tuesdays’, in which he encourages his followers to bombard – ‘nicely’ – public figures and organisations with nonsense messages.

Kudos to McCarthy for being a good sport and for realising the joke relatively quickly.

I’m not a twitterer myself, but I’m not going to take the supercilious line about wondering whether this is a suitable use of a politician’s time; nor am I going to be po-faced about it and question the point of it. Twitter provides a tool among many others and we should use it. Ultimately, it’s light hearted; несерьезный, in the delicious slavic adjective; a joke; a bit of fun.

But if the next election is indeed going to be the first ‘new media election’, let’s hope that the strategy is a little less about spending time on agendas set by others, or about whatever’s trending on Twitter; and neither let’s pretend that this is political engagement: Tory leader David Cameron is already on the menu for next Tuesday’s ‘bombardment’ and no doubt he – or, probably more correctly, his aides – are already preparing for that (i.e. for how it is reported). In a world where the political debate is more about appearance than substance, Twitter is a perfect zeitgeist.


Written by Calvin

09/12/2009 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Politics

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