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Laboured Disagreements

August 29, 2010

After the partisan exchanges of the election campaign the Labour leadership campaign has been a rather damp squib. Following the factional infighting of the last government, I have been left disappointed by the lack of similar bitching between the camps of the various candidates in the leadership election. Only in the last couple of weeks have we started to see the kind of snarky comments we know the ardent Labour tribalist to be capable of.

Two supporters exchanged a quick salvo over this spelling mistake by David Miliband:

Audioboo: Delighted to have the support of John Cruddas http://boo.fm/b172143Thu Aug 26 17:37:40 via AudioBoo

In the red corner then we had the Tom Scholes-Fogg (@tscholesfogg), supporting Ed Miliband in spite of the disadvantage a double-barelled surname must entail on the left of the Labour party. He linked to this cheeky blog on Political Scrapbook (@psbook), pointing out this was not the first time the elder Miliband had erred in the spelling of a fellow Labour MP’s name. Quite why David Miliband should concern himself with the correct spelling of the names of such lesser mortals is quite beyond us here at Twinterland, but such blair-faced cheek rather upset some of his supporters.

In the blue corner we have Ben Cooper (@BenCooper86), a supporter of David Miliband. The exchange went as follows:

David Miliband cannot spoll http://bit.ly/bE928CFri Aug 27 15:19:36 via web

By way of partial defence, it should be noted the ‘joke’ came not from the brain of Scholes-Fogg himself, but the original story on the blog instead.

@tscholesfogg I’m assuming ‘spoll’ was deliberate & its a pretty desperate attack regardless!Fri Aug 27 15:27:13 via web

@BenCooper86 It was indeed a deliberate spelling errorFri Aug 27 15:27:53 via web

@tscholesfogg jooly good, I’m assuming you defend Gordon Brown against its vile attack from the sun…Fri Aug 27 15:30:51 via web

@BenCooper86 I did defend GB when the sun mocked his mistakes, GB was blind in one eye and they shouldn’t have mocked him. But DM should..Fri Aug 27 15:33:25 via web

The above exchange relates of course to the last time there was ever any recorded sympathy for Gordon Brown. We are entering a world of murky misspelling morality here now. Seemingly, getting the name of a dead soldier on a letter of condolence to his mother is fine if you have one eye. However, spelling the name of two colleagues wrong in relatively inconsequential messages on a social media site deserves mockery, especially if you happen to be David Miliband.

@BenCooper86 ..At least know how to spell Diane and JonFri Aug 27 15:33:59 via web

@tscholesfogg I’ve seen plenty of people spell them wrong, including me – its pathetic & not worthy of you!Fri Aug 27 15:43:12 via web

@tscholesfogg oh dear, desperate stuff!Fri Aug 27 16:47:34 via Twitter for Android

I would imagine should David become leader Jon and Diane will become John and Dianne whether they like it or not. Quite clearly these are better ways of spelling those names and David knows what is best for the individuals and what is best for the party. His brother Ed, in a hastily rushed out statement, asked all candidates in the race to try and ensure they conducted their spelling in a collegiate manner, whilst at the same time giving some not so subtle cues to party members that his own policy on the matter would be to the left of his brother: Jo and Di presumably?

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