We don’t want you here, now go away…
November 6, 2016 Leave a comment
More than 4 years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “Why #MPsMustStopTweeting”, the sentiment of which can be summed up as “we hate you and we don’t want you in our space”.
Happily, new research shows that I’m far from alone in feeling this way. Nevertheless I can’t help but disagree with the way this is framed in the headline.
Twitter trolls are undermining what political analysts had predicted would be a new form of responsive democracy.
Far from being an opportunity to engage directly with voters, researchers found that the more politicians tried to actively interact with their constituents, the more abuse they faced.
The eggheads, based in Europe and the US, analyzed just under 800,000 tweets from over 650 politicians based in Germany, Greece, Spain and the UK and found that the percentage of "impolite" tweets directed at them went from 8 per cent when they did nothing to an extraordinary 40 per cent when they actively tried to engage with voters.
Well, look. Personally, I’m not sure it is those of us who express unvarnished opinions on Twitter that are destroying democracy. I think we can hold politicians themselves squarely responsible for that with their naked and endless displays of corruption, cronyism, self-interest, sanctimony, doublespeak and outright lies.
Those MPs – Tories no less – who dutifully rubber-stamped Labour MP Keith Vaz’s appointment to the Justice Select Committee, after only two months previously having to step down from the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, having been caught out by the tabloid press procuring rent boys.
Those MPs who, having voted overwhelmingly in favour of handing the decision about Brexit to the British people, didn’t like the result, and have proceeded – and will continue – to throw every possible spanner in the works, ensuring that not only will the process be delayed, but by exposing our national hand to scrutiny will seriously weaken our negotiating position on exit terms with the EU.
Those MPs who, having been caught with their hands in the till in 2009, waited for the dust to settle then continued to exploit the rules in any way possible to enrich themselves and their families.
Those Tory MPs who claim to value the family unit and individual autonomy, yet propose more government and more taxes as the answer to every problem – particularly “problems” that they have either made themselves or are none of the state’s damned business.
Those Labour MPs who claim to represent the working class and those marginalised, yes quite plainly detest many of those people, and continually patronise them and take their votes for granted.
Those Lib Dem MPs who… wait … lol.. never mind.
The local politicians who are forever finding new ways to finagle money out of those they are supposed to serve, by means of Orwellian surveillance and nit-picking rules that are there to be contravened as a means by which to raise revenue.
The European politicians who quite plainly despise – and continually thwart – the democratic will of the little people, whether they be of Britain, Ireland, France, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Italy or Austria.
The leaders like Merkel who have wilfully and defiantly presided over the vandalism of their own countries – and thanks to Schengen, many others – by means of uncontrolled immigration of people hostile to their laws, culture and values.
The politicians who have turned a blind eye while Muslim gangs groomed thousands of children for rape, and have cried “nothing to do with Islam” after every atrocity carried out in the name of Al Quaeda, Isis or Boko Haram, meanwhile criminalising anyone who dares to express a contrary opinion in a forthright manner.
The politicians who took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan – which killed thousands of innocent people and had incalculable repercussions in terms of terrorism in the UK and Europe – on a false prospectus, and have gone completely unpunished for their fatally reckless deeds.
No, I’m sorry, The Register. Accusing the people who express their anger at all this of “destroying democracy” just won’t wash.
So join me in letting your MP know that if they insist on polluting our public spaces with their ghastly presence, they should expect to hear just what we think of the despicable fuckers.