Thursday, 10 December 2009

Twitter... again!

I've got a piece in the Independent today, written in a bit of a mad rush in a day which included a whips meeting, a DCSF ministerial team meeting, PMQs, the Pre-Budget Report, media on the PBR, votes on the Child Poverty Bill... But here it is, if you're interested.

One of the drawbacks of Twitter is the counterside of one of its strengths; that it's so fast-moving, and you're talking to so many people at once, which is great but it also means that it can be quite difficult to keep up at times and there's a very short time frame during which you can see tweets before more come in and replace them, unless you laboriously plough back through your feed.

When the Ross Noble questions started coming in on Tuesday, I was at a breakfast meeting near Victoria. I walked back down Victoria Street flicking through the tweets on my Blackberry, laughing out loud at at some of them, and formulating answers to questions like "What is it that Meatloaf would not do for love?' (give up burgers? go to the gym?) and one about shooting peasants/ pheasants which would have given me an ideal opportunity for a Cameron shoots peasants gag. But by the time I finally got in front of a computer those tweets had evaporated into the Twittersphere and hundreds more had arrived. Apparently I answered 100 of them, in which case it's slightly worrying that the best things the press could pick out were my suggestion that the wearing of a gorilla suit in the House of Commons chamber is not expressly prohibited and advice to a vegan on what 'cheese' he should buy.

I am still trying to work out whether Ross Noble's first question, 'What role will Billy Ocean play in the General Election campaign?' was inspired because he knew of my longstanding obsession with Billy O (which, I would maintain is entirely consistent with my longstanding obsession with Joy Division and all things miserable and Mancunian) or whether it was entirely random. I've twit-picced him a copy of my Billy Ocean mug, but no response.

And as for those who are asking why he targeted me, after first starting on Doritos and Nutrigrain, I have no idea. He is now on a promise that if he can get a Tory MP to respond to a future Twitter bombardment he can have tea on the terrace and tickets for PMQs. So far his tweets to Tories have fallen on stony ground; in fact I think one of his followers was told to 'go away and stop being so silly.' This is of course yet another compelling reason to vote Labour.


Anonymous said...

I have posted the article on your fan page

Malcolm Clarke said...


I enjoy following your Tweets but think Twitter is, at present, overstated in it's importance to Politics. It is taking over the world though.

I do, however, take the point that you are on the inside and perhaps I'm wrong. For once :)