This August I was enthusing about Twitter and its part in keeping me up to date with the riot news to an academic acquaintance who decried it with the words “but the level of analysis”…
Yes 140 characters sure is not the same thing as a 90,000 word long PhD thesis but that hasn’t stopped Twitter becoming newsworthy in the last couple of days. As you’ll know by now two of Labour’s big guns have been caught out in the Twitterspshere and the medium has truly become the message. Diane Abbot claimed the limiting nature of the word-limit as her defence after her colonialism-inspired “divide and rule” comment became front page stuff on a slow news day. Now the Murdoch Sun has avenged itself for its harrying at the hands of Ed Miliband this Summer by putting a mispelling by the Labour leader on its front page – a Twitter event also ripped into by the Telegraph.
Surely Twitter is off-the-cuff heat-of-the moment stuff. The level of analysis does not merit it being front page news. Anyway serious events seem to have been overshadowed by these trifles. To clarify:
(a) It is entirely the case that so-called community leaders often have dubious claims on representativeness
(b) Divide and rule is an old tactic of any all-powerful group (It was said in the 80s French Socialist Miterrand allowed the Front National to rise so the political right would be split)
(c) Very sad news that LBC newscaster turning iconic tv quizmaster Bob Holness has passed away at 83. A generation will remember sixth formers cheekily asking “can I have an E please Bob?” to the great man on his signature show “Blockbusters”.
Finally one point worth making about this Twitter malarkey is that at least it seems both Ed and Diane send their own Tweets. Many an MP doesn’t, instead getting some lowly bum-wiper to do it for them.