Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Cameron on Twitter

Why the kerfuffle about David Cameron's comments on Twitter this morning?

Watch the extended video. He says he doesn't use Twitter because politicians must be careful about what they say, before making the now infamous remark about too many twits making a twat.

He then goes on to add that politicians should be able to convey their message in few words for ease of memory. Now, I don't necessarily agree with 'soundbite' politics, it tends to obscure the real issues (see 'helicopters' for a rough example that leaps to mind), but being able to get your message across succinctly is important nonetheless.

So, going back, what did he actually say about Twitter?

That politicians must be careful about what they say. Read into that what you will. Does he mean they should be economical with the truth? Cautious of making false promises? It could have any number of meanings.

And as for the "twat" remark, judging by his delivery, it looks more like some failed attempt to be clever with a word that many people actually find rude, like an overzealous schoolboy who just discovered a naughty missive in a dictionary.

As a rampant Twitter user I don't feel offended by it, rather I get the impression it was aimed at tweeting MPs, rather than an attack on Twitter in general. Talking about the "instantness" implies that rash remarks could be foolish, hence "too many twits might make a twat".

The reason he actually gave for not using Twitter was that politicians ought to be careful with words. It's a lame excuse, admittedly, but I don't actually think Cameron thinks the service is populated by twats.

As for his comment about people being pissed off with politicians, we're all thinking it, aren't we? Just a shame it's taken this long for somebody in Parliament to be so publically honest about it.

Now, let's feggedaboutit and move on, there are more important issues at stake. Like why am I sticking up for David Cameron?

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