January 26, 2010

For all the chat about twitter, and how its going to change the face of the election etc, I remain unconvinced.

A hundred thousand people following labour MPs and the like really isn’t going to matter. Subtract from that journalists, civil servants, charities etc, divide the number over the whole of the country and how many people do you actually have in a given marginal? Given that most of them are Stephen Fry, using another account, pretending he’s fallen out with the thing again.

Its honestly not that many people. Sure, you can compare it to newspapers. But the articles in newspapers are in significantly more depth, and not 140 character trickles in a sea of similar drips. Say you have 100 labour MPs. Less than 100,000 followers is not a lot for self professed celebrities, who feel twitter is useful to people. It means about a thousand each. I wager there are many people who aren’t celebrities who have around ~1,000 facebook friends.  700-800 is not unusual. Its really not a great achievement for people whose job is representing people.

Twitter is the true representation of the Westminister Village on the Web. It is simply journalists talking to journalists – no wonder the thing is left wing, half of them are employed by the bbc.

I would like Labour to win the next election (or at very least I would prefer it) but I don’t think twitter will make the difference. Its only asset is that it can seize the media narrative. If you are a journalist turning up to work, deciding in the end not to work, checking your email, your facebook, etc and you find something happening on twitter, well, why not make a story out of it from the convenience of your desk? #welovenhs may have been a big hit on twitter but it failed to dent the polls.

Sooner or later people will get fed up with all this lazy twitter chat. Its just not relevant to people.

But this blogpost is totally relevant 😉


I’m 90% sure.

There have been far too many ‘gaffes’ by cabinet ministers apparently pointing to an election date in May for my liking. I think these gaffes are simply feints, designed to direct attention to May. They are the beginning of a pre-planned pre-election commentary which starts in earnest with the news that Britain is into recovery. This is Labour’s last best chance at taking the momentum away from the conservative’s ‘daily policy announcements’.

This is what causes me to say that I’m 90% sure. You could also argue that Brown would be better off campaigning than in front of the Iraq inquiry (April I think), that for economic reasons Labour’s campaigning must be short and sharp, that Cameron’s overt alliance with at least one NI party (as opposed to any implicit alliances Labour may have formed) might make Brown look more statesman-like in the current strife (although hopefully noone would play politics with this) or what-have-you.

So I think Brown is manipulating things more than he’s given credit for, that his cabinet’s gaffes are not gaffes but feints. The fact that some of the cabinet are such numpties whom you could believe would blurt out an election date, however, I do not go so far as to claim is part of a design 🙂

Why David Milliband?

January 10, 2010

Sorry to sound like a broken record.

I’ve just never understood why David Milliband is given such prominence as a future leadership candidate. He may, without my knowing it, be very good at his job, but when has he demonstrated a particular set of skills that would elevate to leadership?

He isn’t that great at answering questions. I have no idea if he has policies, and if he does, quite who they would likely most appeal to. (I doubt he would be as left as Gordon). He doesn’t give Labour’s most inspiring speeches. He hasn’t got a range of experience outwith foreign policy and the environment.

I think he has benefited tremendously from the ‘anyone but Gordon’ feeling. If it wasn’t for speculation over his leadership potential, his natural value would not match up with foreign secretary. His only currency isn’t charisma but speculation.

None of that is to say that he would be a bad leader. I just can’t see why people assume he would be a better leader.

“I am working closely with the Prime Minister on foreign policy issues and support the re-election campaign for a Labour Government that he is leading” – David Milliband

So he says that he wants a government re-elected with Gordon Brown.  But could mean, within the fit of this wording, for Gordon Brown to then face a subsequent challenge, perhaps from him.

Carefully worded ? I think, the fact you can tell it is carefully worded is infact careless.