August 1st, 2011

Thirty-Seconds on Twitter Tosh

Fledgling lobbyists Westminster Public Affairs got a good little PR hit over the weekend with their “MPs spend 1000 hours a year on Twitter research”. However given that most of the 275 engaging members use it to do little more than link back to their websites and announce a visit to a local fête, the numbers are a little deceiving. 1,000 hours a year works out at about thirty-seconds per tweeting member. Hardly a digital revolution quite yet.

It’s clear though that  select few members are spending far longer of our time and money musing away online. We all know Tom Harris’s zingers and Denis Macshane’s historical howlers must take far longer than a minute to craft…


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Twitter is just another way to give out the soundbite.

    One day they might meet the public..,..

    • 5

      Back in latе 1991, John Smith launchеd what was to bеcomе sardonically known as thе Prawn Cocktail Offеnsivе. As Labour politicians go, Smith was a good man. Wrong, but good in intеntion. Thеn hе diеd suddеnly.

      It took his succеssor, Tony Blair, to twist that tactic into a conspiracy in which govеrnmеnt and corporations would takе ownеrship of thе еntirе apparatus of statе.

      Nеvеr, in thе wholе history of human еndеavour, havе so many bееn foolеd (rеad controllеd) by so fеw. Blair’s brutal succеss was еmulatеd by politicians thе world ovеr. It was facilitatеd by thе collapsе of communism – thе right had won. Thе right wеrе right, in sеvеral sеnsеs of thе word.

      I sеnsеd that businеss had now bеcomе a forcе against thе individual just bеforе thе Millеnnium whеn thе largе banks stoppеd buying my sеrvicеs. What on еarth could a lonе individual possibly tеll a multinational corporation?

      As Douglas Carswеll said, “…for too long I had mistakеn big businеss intеrеsts with thе frее markеt. Too many Consеrvativеs still do.” Hе is right.

      Charlеs Moorе, to which Carswеll rеfеrs, has askеd what was prеviously thought unaskablе:

      Thеsis – antithеsis – synthеsis, that supposеd Hеgеlian triad, rеpеats itsеlf indеfinitеly. Charlеs Moorе has providеd thе backdrop for a nеw thеsis. Its manifеsto should bе Libеrtarianism.

      • 14
        Factoid of the day says:

        On John Smith’s grave on Iona is written “An honest man’s the noblest work of God” (Alexander Pope). Whatever they put on Tony’s headstone, I venture to suggest it won’t be that!

        • 18
          Lord Biro says:

          When the great day comes we will need another Byron:

          Posterity will ne’er survey
          A nobler grave than this;
          Here lie the bones of Castlereagh:
          Stop, traveller, and piss.

          • Stephanie the bear says:

            Byron took his bear Stephanie with him when he went to an interview at Cambridge. She helped with the finer points when the conversation became stilted.

        • 29
          A scot says:

          Blatant piece of propaganda burrying Smith on Iona. This is the ancient burial grounds of the Kings of Scotland, Smith was an Lawyer. Just shows how much influence the Labour party had up here. Times are a changing though, their boardwalk empire has been exposed and is crumbling. Corrupt lot that they are.

          • Anonymous says:

            John Smith was a member of the Iona Community – founded by George MacLeod (MC and Coix de Guerre). Read the revised edition (ISBN 1- 901557 – 53 – 7) of Ron Ferguson’s biography of MacLeod to understand the complexity of what that says about John Smith.

            MacLeod was a pacifist who wore his poppy with pride, told a War War 2 draft-dodger he should join the Royal Army Medical Corps, fought for the Pope to visit Iona and celebrate Mass and then threatened to lead the demonstration outside if the Mass was not open to all denominations and so on.

            John Smith’s periods of reflection on Iona were a major problem for his political colleagues. His early death was a tragedy for all who believe that honesty is more important than consistency in politics. His burial there is particularly fitting. Every time a socialist visits Iona and reflects on how their beliefs are reflected in their party’s actions when in power, that is a vote at risk for the woolly Guardianistas and corrupt power politicians who succeeded him.

        • 35
          Rudyard Rules says:


          I could not dig: I dared not rob:
          Therefore I lied to please the mob.
          Now all my lies are proved untrue
          And I must face the men I slew.
          What tale shall serve me here among
          Mine angry and defrauded young?

          Epitaphs of the War – Rudyard Kipling

          • Hiram N Fireman says:

            How appropriate for Anthony Blair!

          • Rudyard Rules says:

            Indeed, Hiram. Presumably Tony, as a good Catholic, believes in the afterlife. The thought of his arrival there, to be greeted by the shades of those countless thousands for whose death he has been responsible, almost makes me wish to share his belief. (Although, being Tony, he probably thinks that a few Hail Marys and a deathbed repentance will ensure him a place upstairs.)

        • 101
          Annon says:

          Underneath this load of rubble , lies the body of a Heap of Trouble. US TONY

    • 13
      Rule number 1 says:

      Twitter is for TWATS

    • 22
      AC1 says:

      Not Twitter Tosh

      • 54
        Sir William Waad says:

        It was silly, angry old Karl Marx, with the bumptious beard, who claimed that railway accidents were an inevitable result of capitalism and that the railways would grow increasingly dangerous.

        Karl hadn’t worked out that, because the railways were expanding rapidly, there would be more accidents even if the railways were becoming safer, as indeed they were. But he was a journalist and, as such, never let the facts get in the way of the story.

        Now, some twerp is drawing a general conclusion about the Chinese railway system from one accident. I do think a rudimentary knowledge of maths and logic should be thought essential for people who offer such opinions.

        • 55
          AC1 says:

          Actually there’s been several accidents in the week before…

        • 60
          Ah! Monika says:

          The Japanese System anticipates a lightning strike and switches off the power before it strikes. Simps

        • 89
          jabbathecat says:

          Lol…suggest you look Nouriel Roubini up before making such statements.

        • 96
          smoggie says:

          He has a point. The Chinese rapid technological advances (much of which is based on pilfered engineering) were bound to give sooner rather than later.

          I doubt that Chinese quality assurance engineers would have the clout over the schedulers that we have in the West.

          Let us hope that when they put their new aircraft carriers to sea, they remembered to install the brakes.

    • 26
      Rage Against the Political Elite says:

      On The Net when the whole economy is on its backside. What else would the clueless working for the Fraudsters and Economic Terrorists of Whitehall do, but Tweet. Its for the Birds.

      • 72
        Cat says:

        It must be excruciating for them to have to squeeze so much bullsh1t into so few words and not have the luxury of all the usual ‘it’s the right thing to do’ et al.

        I do wonder why they think we are in the least bit interested.

    • 45
      Sir Barrington Minge says:

      Twatter is a complete waste of time. Who the hell cares whether an MP had egg and soldiers for breakfast or whether some Z list celeb has bought another handbag?
      Twatter users really do need to get a life!!

  2. 2

    Is this a case of form over form?

  3. 3
    Geoffrey G Brooking says:

    Louise Mensch is my favourite tweeter

    • 9
      Brazilian Ladyboy Watch says:

      Mensch has a bit of a Brazilian ladyboy forehead, and for that reason alone, I wouldn’t.

  4. 4
    anon says:

    What idiots pay public affairs companies to do work?

    I’ve worked in the sector for over ten years and it’s such a waste of money. in the vast majority of cases.

  5. 6
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    The difference is MPs are not from the real world, They dont know how to comunicate with real people with thier advisor feeding them lines.

    This just reflects on the quailty of people elected to serve.

  6. 8
    Sarah Twatty the Twitter Totty says:

    I witter – and I wish, . . . oh how I wish . . .

  7. 10
    Happy to help says:

    “thirty-seconds per tweeting member” per day. Fixed that for you.

  8. 11
    Ed Miliband MP says:

    I need a new bandwagon to jump on, anyone got a idea?

    • 15
      Tax Payer says:

      Capital Punishment?

      (But, be aware, it’s not going to succeed)

    • 47
      EdMiliband says:

      “Does the Pwime Minister agwee with me that it ith better to tet a good example and holiday in the UK?”

  9. 12
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    I have to say that Denis MacShane seems relentlessly determined to ensure that the entire world is aware of his stupidity and ignorance and Twitter provides a very good forum for him to do that.

  10. 17
    Sophie says:

    Anyone hear that under achiever Hague on Toady this morning?

    I never ceased to be amazed how completely underwhelming & disappointing Hague has been as FS.

    * Turkey in the EU? Hague says yes.

    * Increased contributions to the EU? Hague says yes.

    * Futile vanity war in Libya? Hague says yes.

    And he had the audacity to claim he shared a bed with that gay fellow “to save taxpayers cash”.

    Blue Labour out.

    • 21
      Tax Payer says:

      Anyone else find it insulting that the government saved £3.75bn on government costs in the last year, but promptly gave £10bn to Greece?

      Isn’t that called going backwards?

      • 30
        AC1 says:

        It’s important that British people work till they are 68+ in order to support greeks formerly employed by the state for 13 more years retirement.

      • 39
        Danny says:

        £3 million a day in Libya is currently being pissed up the wall.

        Rusty Dave et al sure know how to destroy any chance of a Conservative majority at the next GE.

        Its like the Tories have surrendered all of their principles on the alter of Blairite big state third way socialism.

        I am sick of it – I would rather have Red Labour than this wankfest – at least you knew that Red Labour are an anti English vindictive big spending high taxing print more money arseholes – the Tories are just the same but lie about it.

        • 85
          Theresa 'give Labour a stick to beat us with' May says:

          We musn’t risk being called the nasty party again, I hate being called nasty.

    • 25
      Mornington Crescent says:

      What do you expect from a monolingual, monocultural, Yorkie management consultant…?

    • 36
      sally bercow says:

      My husbands a little shit.

    • 43
      Anonymous says:

      Hague is just full of shit. Last week he said Gaddafi had no option but to leave Libya and go sit in some pathetic European court room. This week he says Gadaffi can stay at home as long as he is nice to the rebels.

      Just who the f*ck does Hague think he is and why does he think a European court has the legality and power to arrest and try an African leader?

      I never had any sympathy for old Mad dog until Dave and Billy boy started out on their Libyan adventure but I now can’t help wishing that he rubs their noses in thr dirt.

      • 70
        We can all rest easy in our beds knowing that..... says:

        I’m mightily re-assured that the Cameron Government told us that lessons had been learnt from the Iraq War and that never again would the UK Government and especially a Conservative Government overstretch British Armed Forces and engage in War in an Arab country and would in future be clear on both the objectives of any campaign,the cost and also what the exit strategy was …….

    • 109
      Annon says:

      Careful, a Judo Black Belt… what Dan’s he on???

  11. 28
    Johann Hari says:

    “ARGH! CAN PEOPLE STOP TWEETING AT ME SAYING OBAMA “COMPROMISED”? A compromise involves give and take on BOTH sides. He got nothing. Nothing”

  12. 44
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    What are tweets?

  13. 46
    Sir William Waad says:

    Guido, you don’t imagine that MPs write their tweets themselves? They surely use their teenage daughters as Twitter Tutors?

    • 51
      Steve Miliband says:

      I am told you can get some fangled device that ‘tweets’ pre-recorded messages from a spread sheet.

      Imagine Gordon on twitter.
      ”Just got new Nokia. Strange woman in the house. Who are the little people? My aircraft carriers coming on nicely.

      • 63
        Afghanistan Banana Stand says:

        I saved the world. Ohama really does listen to me. Balls is clever. Gore didn’t mind being escorted into a cupboard. I blame Sue.

  14. 52
    Gordon Brown says:

    Beware of cars sporting BBS Alloys

  15. 59
  16. 61
    David Cameron says:

    The final of the 100m in the 2012 Olympics will be like a normal night out in London.

    The sound of a gunshot and 8 black blokes legging it!

  17. 62
    Head Honch for Equalities and Diversity. says:

    The oily Vaz states today that he’s worried about drugs coming through Turkey into the Europe from Afghanistan. Strange he doesn’t mention Pakistan. Any explanation?

    • 91
      Confused guardianista says:

      Because he is worried about Afghanistan eating into Pakistan’s market share?

  18. 67
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    The Indain fielding is shocking!

  19. 74
    Dark Lord says:

    The Twitter site is currently down – oh joy!!!!

  20. 78
    Ah! Monika says:

    Jim Devine released after 4 months.
    He was giving prison a bad name

    • 98
      Sir Redinald Titbrain [Decd.] says:

      Amidst all the ho-ha about capital punishment notice that this is symptomatic of the real flaws in the justice system.
      -Small chance of being arrested and charged.
      -Snails-pace progress of legal process whilst the lawyers get fat.
      -Feeble sentence in luxury nick, TV, private room, mobile access to world outside, ping pong, drugs available if you want them.
      -Bubba free zone
      -Release after derisory part of sentence served.

  21. 81
    Arthur Bent says:

    “Off pigs”.

    Perhaps he needs to learn English.

  22. 82
    Gordon Brown says:

    Today, I am rewriting history.

    It turns out I was right about everything.

  23. 84
    Ah! Monika says:

    Question of the day.

    When did you last see a kid running to school because he was late?

  24. 103

    Aldermore sounds like the kind of bank that Business Secretary Vince Cable might approve of. It has no wholesale funding, bad debts, toxic

  25. 104
    Maffs says:

    Damn it Guido, your maths are beyond terrible. 1000 hours by 275 MPs does not add up to 30 seconds per member at all. Not even close.

    Try 3.636 hours (to 3 dp). Still not exactly huge, but bloody hell, I have zero idea how you came up with the result you did. Your sum was worthy of Gordon Brown at his finest.

  26. 105
    Lord Lavender et al. says:

    CRAFT? MacShane’s bletherings are heavilly de-skilled, nearly automated slurry.

  27. 108
    Democritus says:

    its blindingly obvious that he meant Suez.

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Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome

Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)

A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”

Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.

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