Friday 21 November 2014

Social media - pitchforks and torches.

Emily Thornberry parks outside her Islington home
Labour's Emily Thornberry has resigned from the Labour front bench over a tweet she sent during the Rochester and Strood by-election campaign. She tweeted a picture of a white van parked outside a terrace house that was flying England flags.

And that was it. No terrible comments. No questionable views. Just the subtext. Which was

'Look at this UKIP paradise of a place -White vans,the Sun newspaper and Footie flags.How ghastly."

But she never said that. She just tweeted the picture.


On the previous post I mentioned 'lucky Ed' being the first labour leader who would not have the Murdoch press as a serious problem to either hug, as Blair did, or suffer with, as Kinnock.
Ed has social media which is now taking on even TV as the accepted method of receiving news.

But the problem with it, is the positive direct access it gives for engagement is often offset by its angry, raging, mob mentality. Giving people a voice means they want to be heard.

Politicians find themselves in the ancient Forum world. Roman emperors had to constantly offer lavish spectacles and circuses. And show trials with executions.  Heroic Triumphs with chests filled with gold coins being tossed into the crowds. And the grain dole. And the odd senator who had upset the population too much losing his head.

So it is with social media. 8 hours after Thornberry tweets a picture, she has to resign from the shadcab. The now 'Unlucky' Ed Miliband was reported to never have been so furious. He knows this tweet will overshadow the Tory loss and UKIP gain. He knows that he needs to retain all his remaining Labour, working class voters, to win the election. So he quickly had Emily sewn into a sack with a jackal and thrown into the Tiber to appease the plebs.
Apparently she had a council house upbringing herself. So could probably have brazened this out. It would be forgotten by Saturday. But Ed didn't fancy the risk. So .. a thumbs down from him.


Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May banned entry for Julien Blanc after the techniques used by controversial 'pick up artist' were deemed "racist and sexist".
He had committed no crime.  Was not coming to the UK to commit any crime. He is just a controversial man who says he can teach other men how to bed women.
This is not acceptable to the Twitter. This is an outrage. The mob could have turned up to his show and made their displeasure known. But its a lot easier to send 140 characters on a tweet hashtag #ANGRYMOB.
Or to tweet a scientist to tears for wearing a shirt that is on general sale in shops without requiring some special permit. Not a banned shirt. Just a sexist shirt. Which is only sexist if you think it is. I don't.
APphoto_Germany Comet Landing Shirt 
I wouldn't wear it myself. But I've seen, and sold, far, far worse.
The old PORNSTAR label springs to mind. 

An attempt to hold a reasonable debate about abortion in Oxford was called off after students threatened to disrupt it. Tim Stanley tried to have a discussion, at a college in Oxford, but the guardians of free speech decided instead to call the whole thing off. The Facebookers were not tolerating 'men' discussing an issue they cannot understand! That's Oxford university giving way to the power of the mob.

So maybe this social media isn't such a good thing for Ed. Maybe having the Murdoch back would be better. At least Ed knows what Murdoch wants.

This FacetweetInstagram  - Its irrational. Its uncontrollable. Its very angry. And it demands sacrifice.


dearieme said...

I suggest that Mlee be photographed wearing that shirt, then we'll all forgive her.

dearieme said...

A fat human-rights lawyer who owns multiple properties and sends her children to selective schools. Obviously she's New Labour through and through.

James S said...

If the constituents of Rochester were concerned about buffoonery and clumsy tweets, would they really have voted for UKIP ?

As you say, would have been forgotten about by Saturday - it makes Milliband look like a weak Roman emperor placating the baying crowd.

Jonno said...

Quite bizarre. It was just a picture in a tweet. Even if it was malicious you'd expect a warning or a reprimand, not a sacking. Goes to show how fragile Labour are.

But there's the irony of being hoisted by their own petard. Labour have tried to make hay with faux outrage, see the way they twisted Lord Freud's words for just one example. Now they've been on the receiving end of it for a change.

Electro-Kevin said...

The one Twitter mob they don't give way to is the anti EU, right-of-centre one.

BTW - All socialists should be taxed at 90% and not allowed to own their own homes, let alone £3m ones.

CityUnslicker said...

I fear for the Socialits, their numbers are dwindling, they can't cope with the pace of change.

They will become angry at their fate; this tweet mob shit is the first signs of it.

andrew said...

I don't know what Thornberry was thinking, for all I know she may have simply liked the image. We will never know.

The subtle point that miliband clearly understands on some level is that a lot of us think that he and his metropolitan front bench are thinking a large chunk of the british population are white van driving racist sub-humans.

I am sure they don't actually think that, but in the chamber of mirrors we live in it fits in nicely in the jigsaw we have constructed of their image.

He knows that reminding the proles that they think the leader thinks they are ghastly less than 6 months before an election aint a vote winning strategy.

It is a sad commentary on the class ridden land we are in that whilst we are outraged at the thought that Milliband might think many voters are nasty oiks, we somehow accept the same projected thought that DC thinks the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I live in South Lakeland the next MP up ,Rory the spy, said his constituents were yokels with their trousers held up by bailer twine .

Our clown Farron sounds like a yokel looks like a youkel and says he will not wish to deal with his members who are caught with their trousers down - is he giving them bailer twin as a precaution??

Bill Quango MP said...

I don't think there are any pictures of Milae in embarrassing clothes.
Not even some 90's low slung jeans showing his M+S pants waistband.

Dearieme. I don't like her much either. But I'm not sure it was a resigning matter

James S. Emperor Miliband I.
Coming to a government near you soon. He already looks like a candidate for a mass stabbing from his backbenchers.

Jonno: Even better is when labour want to deploy their faux outrage bus they their mouth of choice is Emily Thornberry.

Bill Quango MP said...

EK - harsh but fair. Polly Toynbee said she would happily pay more tax if the corporates did. When Starbucks decided to 'voluntarily' pay extra tax, I emailed Polly at GMG and asked if she too was now going to send a cheque. Never got a response.

CU: I think its a bit worse. Labour have been quite keen o signing up as many young people as they can. So their Twitterati has a larger base than the UKIP or Tory. So when its angry - they seem to really fear that mob burning down the Senate.

Bill Quango MP said...

Andrew - good point.
I expect Emily was thinking - This a UKIP house.

Which is what any of would have thought. I doubt she knows the Hammers logo or is up to speed on Andy Carroll's latest injury crisis.
Both parties are fearful of the out-of-touch label being fixed to them. Because they know they are. They cannot but help to be. In the same way that if you have a company car you never notice the price of fuel.

I am surprised he binned her though. Overreaction?

Its his own fault though. He started the Klass War. A deliberate strategy designed to portray any Tory as a rich , millionaire, Eton investment banker.
A horrible strategy of hatred designed to divide the country and something which brings many longer term problems for a very short term gain.

So I'm glad she is a casualty of Labour's decision to implement Class \war.

anon - Farron eh? Mr Ambitious. as he is known.
Or more correctly, as he is known in the MP's tea room - Vicious Ambitious.

BTW - Emilly Thornberry is refereed to as Emily Thorntons.

For reasons that Dearime remarks upon.

Malcolm Tucker said...

Ed Miliband

The Emperor Cafe Nero

dearieme said...

"I don't know what Thornberry was thinking": no, but the Labour people who know her clearly reckon they know exactly what she was thinking. Who am I to disagree?

Anonymous said...

Horribly off topic, but if ND or other energy gurus are reading this, I'm doing a college essay on "are we in danger of the lights going out and if so, how did we get here?".

Anyone know a non-Wiki source of info on annual change in UK generation capacity, ideally showing what's come on stream and what's gone off, for each year since, say, 1997?

(My theory is that Blair's dash to close coal and nuclear, replacing with wind chimes and pixie dust, is the culprit, but the facts may not support what seems a likely thesis)

Nick Drew said...

anon - I will try to pen you some pointers over the weekend, in this thread (or maybe a post if it merits one)

Anonymous said...

ND - thanks. Do you know off the top of your head if there's an annual "what's come off and what's gone on" report anywhere?

Nick Drew said...

Anon, see Sunday's post

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