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So much love to give…

August 28, 2010

The ever quixotic John Prescott (@johnprescott) to save the NHS Direct service from being restructured under coalition plans. It all seems a bit of a come down after the high profile bid to save the NHS via the #welovetheNHS hashtag back in 2009. What were they saving it from? Well remember, it was massively under threat of Tory MEP Daniel Hannan talking about how he didn’t particularly care for the NHS on a right wing new channel in the States. Phew! Thank god he was seen off.

What is even more perplexing is that we have not seen anything like that reaction to Andrew Lansley’s announcements on the introduction of GP commissioning. So let’s get this right; Tory MEP says something vaguely disparaging about NHS on American news channel and a Twitterstorm rages for a week, and yet we have what Labour politicians are calling the ‘biggest shake up of the NHS in decades’ and not even a whimper from Labourites on Twitter, not even the sniff of a populist hashtag. The vagaries and whims of Twitter hey?

All that brings us to this campaign launched tonight by our old friend John:

  1. John Prescott
    johnprescott Cameron said if he received a 100,000 signature petition it would guarantee Commons debate. Let’s do it. #fb
  2. John Prescott
    johnprescott Leave stories of how NHS Direct has helped you at and sign petition at

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There’s the obligatory hashtag of course and the usual cheerleaders to marshal the troops:

  1. Ellie Gellard
    BevaniteEllie I’m sensing a #weloveNHSdirect moment on twitter….

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Prezza is running for party treasurer and has repeatedly stated that Labour need to find new and ultimately cheaper ways to campaign. This is the first real Twitter insurgency campaign I have seen him try to orchestrate, so I will be interested to see how far this gets. I can’t help thinking though, after the epic struggles in 2009 to save the NHS from Daniel Hannan’s rhetoric, that saving NHS Direct is something of a come down. It’s like campaigning to send a starving village all the food and water they need for a year, only to have to downscale your aims to provide a month’s supply of Pot Noodles.



August 28, 2010

Finally, some spice introduced into the Labour Leadership campaign; not from one of the candidates though, but by Lily Allen’s(@lilyroseallen) exchanges this evening with David Miliband (@DMiliband). Referring to the latter’s recent profile in the Evening Standard, specifically this answer:

What’s the best meal you’ve had in London?
I had a fantastic takeaway from Masala Zone in Camden recently. When you spend lots of time away from home, which I am at the moment, it’s a rare treat to stay in, relax and enjoy a curry.

There then ensued the following exchange:

  1. lilyroseallen
    lilyroseallen LOLing at David Millibands ‘my london’ in ES. The best meal he’s had in london was at, wait for it ….. Masala Zone, yeah right.
  2. lilyroseallen
    lilyroseallen His hero? Robin Hood of course because he stole from the rich to give to the poor. Obvs !
  3. David Miliband
    DMiliband @lilyroseallen I said Masala Zone because they do great takeaways but am going there for event next Monday if you fancy joining us…
  4. lilyroseallen
    lilyroseallen @DMiliband I’ve eaten there myself and while the food is perfectly nice, I very much doubt that it is the BEST meal you’ve had in London.
  5. lilyroseallen
    lilyroseallen @DMiliband quite a considered answer for a campaigning labour politician though. MOR.
  6. lilyroseallen
  7. lilyroseallen
    lilyroseallen @DMiliband hang on, are you getting free curries for mentioning them?
  8. lilyroseallen
    lilyroseallen Why did David Milliband cross the road ?
  9. lilyroseallen
    lilyroseallen To get to the middle…….#VoteEd

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This garnered some varied reaction from the Twittersphere, most notable amongst some Labourite tweeters, a rather breathless and bemusing attempt to ascertain exactly which Ed the popstrel was referring to. Others were somewhat more pragmatic:

  1. Bryony Victoria King
    bryonyvk I don’t think having Lily Allen as a backer helps any cause…

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And others pointed to the rather suggestive quality of Mr Miliband’s reply:

  1. Me Myself and I
    the_bbq_bob Jeez asking out a pregnant lady! RT @DMiliband: @lilyroseallen ……. but am going there for event next Monday if you fancy joining us…
  2. Fabienne
    gift_of_the_fab @the_bbq_bob To a curry house too? Isn’t curry suppose to…well y’know…
  3. Me Myself and I

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Ms Allen has clarified her ‘endorsement’ it appears. Obviously not swayed by the other Ed’s Bloomberg speech yesterday, as I had first surmised:

  1. lilyroseallen

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Being Blunt

August 28, 2010

There was a collective disinterested shrug this afternoon on Twitter following news that Conservative MP Crispin Blunt was leaving his wife and was trying to come to terms with his homosexuality. Of course, whenever the words politician and homosexuality are mentioned in the same new story, there is always the opportunity for the political twittersphere to work itself up into a complete lather about it. This was one of the continual themes on Twitter of the months leading up to the general election, when claims of homophobia became such common currency and were often blown out of all proportion, that any legitimate concerns Labour tweeters might have had were lost in the red mist of claim and counter claim. @Dave_Chiv was quick of the mark with this:

  1. David Chiverton
    dave_chiv Has Ben ‘Self-Appointed Homosexuality Czar’ Bradshaw stuck his nose in yet? Has he got his Tories hate gays line in? #crispinblunt

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That’s this Ben Bradshaw (@BenPBradshaw) who posted this tweet during the fall out from the David Laws outing:

  1. Ben Bradshaw
    BenPBradshaw when is “protecting your privacy” a euphamism for feeling shameful about who you are?

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In the absence of Mr Bradshaw we had the following tweets from Wes Streeting and Sally Bercow:

  1. Wes Streeting
    wesstreeting Re: last tweet. Cue nasty bile from right wing bloggers. Hope Crispin Blunt and his family are treated with respect & dignity they deserve.
  2. Sally Bercow
    SallyBercow The *only* interesting thing abt Crispin Blunt story is that @ConHome has turned off comments #toomanybigotedreaders

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It seems that even something as innocuous as the Blunt story still has to have the same tiresome battle lines drawn. Not unexpectedly Tory Bear (@torybear) was not going to let the Streeting comment pass:

    torybear @wesstreeting smear smear smear. have you ever noticed some right wing bloggers are… shock… gayers!

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No observed ‘nasty bile’ from right wing bloggers to date, and I am sure if there had been even a trace of possible homophobic reaction from a blogger or tweeter there would have been an observable disturbance and much retweeting. Indeed, the only tweets that I personally observed that were a out of kilter with the rest of the commentary were from a Labour supporter (@ashleytmason):here and here. Hardly Swiftian wit, but hardly the same as Guido’s commenters either. Would Tory Bear got away with such tweets without a backlash of some kind though? I think not.


“Sex Obsessed Leftie Wierdos”

August 27, 2010

It’s been a while since we have had an MP make a complete arse of themselves on Twitter. One had started to look back nostalgically on the Wright Stuff incident it had been so long in fact. The General Election campaign yielded little in the way of tweeting blunders, with just the Labour PPC Stuart MacLennan falling victim to inappropriate, if entirely accurate in some cases, comments on his Twitter feed.

Delight here today at Twinterland with these gems from Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson (@SJacksonMP):

  1. Stewart Jackson
    SJacksonMP Re. Sex education Memo to sad tedious sex obsessed Leftie weirdos – do please tweeting me You’re confusing me with someone who’s interested

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This viscous, shrill denunciation was followed up by the following:

  1. Stewart Jackson
    SJacksonMP Left are simply unable to debate issues without personal abuse and vicious shrill denunciation. Important we keep them locked out of power

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The context for this outburst is reported on the Nothing Special blog here, but it essentially arose from his reaction to this weeks publication of statistics showing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) were on the rise, which Jackson responded to in particularly enlightened and balanced fashion:

  1. Stewart Jackson
    SJacksonMP V disappointing news on STD rates in Pboro. No doubt our liberal friends will tell us we need MORE sex education – as it’s worked so well!

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The response from the ‘lefties’ was swift, taking a break from their deviant sexual practices and corruption of the nations youth, they launched a full scale statistical assault on Mr Jackson. Here’s Dr Petra Boyton (@DrPetra):

  1. Dr Petra Boynton
    DrPetra .@sjacksonmp I was concerned to see your judgemental response to STI rates.I’d hope MPs would want to ensure their constituents health
  2. Dr Petra Boynton
    DrPetra This would be after we’ve sent you evidence on sexual health and offered you support to learn more to help your constituents @sjacksonmp
  3. Dr Petra Boynton
    DrPetra .@sjacksonmp rising STI rates are a major health crisis not a ‘debate issue’.Please don’t dismiss those trying to engage with you to help

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And here is legal blogger Jack of Kent (@jackofkent), so confused over his own political orientation, he calls himself a coalition supporter:

  1. Jack of Kent
    jackofkent So @SJacksonMP, what is the Left to do: debate the issues or stop tweeting you, as you don’t care? Please do tell.
  2. Jack of Kent
    jackofkent Dear @SJacksonMP – I am a Coalition supporter by the way. So, clearly I am a dangerous leftie weirdo…
  3. Jack of Kent
    jackofkent After Mary Whitehouse, Alan Clark, and all the Back to Basics stuff, amusing of @SJacksonMP to say Left are the sex-obsessed weirdos…
  4. Jack of Kent
    jackofkent This @SJacksonMP believes that sex education only makes the risk of STD worse. This is *not* Coalition policy, not Tory policy but… 1/2
  5. Jack of Kent
    jackofkent …this @SJacksonMP thinks that those against him on this are weirdo sex-obsessed Lefties. That is a wrong and dishonest position. 2/2
  6. Jack of Kent
    jackofkent Dear @SJacksonMP, are you are actually aware of current govt policy on sex education & STIs? See at 2.17-2.22 here:

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OK, so fair enough, Jackson doesn’t share the same view has his own parties policy on the matter, hardly a hanging offence, but there are two more fundamental issues:

  1. Not only is he out of line with party policy, but in point of fact his analysis is lacking. Boynton’s own post on interpreting this weeks figures here does much of the heavy lifting, but see Mark Easton of the BBC here also.
  2. Jackson was unnecessarily rude and unprofessional. Is calling opponents ‘sex-obsessed leftie wierdos’ really how an MP should be acting? Even if we do want more plain speaking MPs, it should be clear that such venting opens you up to unnecessary criticism, which can build momentum in its own right. It took only a few hours before the story was appearing on the BBC.

Twilosophy – Edition 2

February 23, 2010

This time a retweet from Norman Geras (@normblog):

  1. Norman Geras
    normblog If you don’t Tweet it, does it even exist? @Gillian_Philip

And some late night surrealism from Adam Connell (@forwardadam):

  1. Adam Connell
    forwardadam Dear all, I am not a walrus. Thank you.

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Parliamentary Pwnge

February 23, 2010

Ed Balls is getting his shit together with this entire interwebz schtick it appears, after he reportedly pwnd Thomas ‘The Libertarian Monarchist’ Byrne (@byrnetofferings) with a scathing put down of such incisive wit that his victim may struggle for years to recover his self-esteem. It is unclear at this time whether Balls pwnd him for the lulz or not, with some claiming it was merely a petty diversionary tactic. Here’s the exchange:

  1. Thomas Byrne
    ByrneTofferings @edballsmp Cheers for telling me something irrelevent I already know.
  2. Ed Balls
  3. Ellie Gellard
  4. Matthew Taylor
    MTPT @BevaniteEllie Well, @EdBallsMP seems to have patronised a sixth former and dodged his question. Is that Labour’s version of pwning?
  5. Ed Balls
    edballsmp @BevaniteEllie Following your tweet and after some research (Wikipedia) I now know what “pwn” means.. a twittereducation..
  6. Ellie Gellard
    BevaniteEllie @gift_of_the_fab @edballsmp can u imagine?! “I believe the house would agree my right honourable friend just pwned the honourable member”
  7. Matthew Taylor
    MTPT @gift_of_the_fab @SimonThompson01 @edballsmp @BevaniteEllie PMQS 2010-02-24: “Does the Prime Minister favour on state pwnage of the banks?”
  8. Nicolas Redfern
    Nick_Red @BevaniteEllie @gift_of_the_fab @edballsmp I’m fairly certain it’s not yet in the list of unparliamentary language…
  9. Chris v C-B
    chriscsefalvay @gift_of_the_fab @simonthompson01 @edballsmp @bevaniteellie Pwn, v. What the British electorate will do to Labour in the #ge10.
  10. Alasdair
    ralasdair @BevaniteEllie @gift_of_the_fab @edballsmp – someone would have to figure out how to pronounce it first!

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Wider usage of the term in political circles should now be encouraged. For example:

Nick Robinson: Another victory for Cameron at PMQs, where he completed pwnd the Prime Minister on the subject of Afghanistan

Downing Street staffers are regularly pwnd by an irate Brown, usually left a gibbering wreck in a corner after what is known unofficially as the ‘big clunking lapel grab’

Yet another Tory advertising campaign pwnd. Next please.

And so on. Good that we can be of service encourageing the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to improve himself, although learning the meaning of pwnd would not have been my 1st suggestion for him.

Moose, Mooses or Meese?

February 19, 2010

Strange the things you pick up on Twitter. From today’s stream of thoughts:

  1. Steve
    OxfordSpring People debating Octopuses vs Octopi. Bloke at next table informs them it is, in fact, Octopedes. I love this town.
  2. Chris v C-B
    chriscsefalvay @OxfordSpring Bloke is wrong. Octopodes is the proper plural 😛
  3. Steve
    OxfordSpring @chriscsefalvay I knew it sounded wrong! 3rd declension init? Stem wouldn’t usually shift to e.
  4. Simon Giles
    simon1982 @OxfordSpring Standard English term is ‘octopusses’. Hyper-correct ‘octopodes’ – based on the Greek – highly pretentious in conversation 🙂

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Educational gems amongst the political dross.