Another week, another local Lambeth politician getting his online knickers in a twist all over Twitter. @cllr_robbins’ ill-advised tweet, referring to a colleague as a “scab,” has been deleted for less than a week; next up is @cllrMarkBennett, Lambeth labour councillor for St Reatham South, using Twitter to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted, um, tweets in our borough, with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play. Or something.


The good Labour @cllrMarkBennett was so outraged by the appearance of the pro-market force Adam Crozier appearing on the Andrew Marr programme without *shock* wearing a poppy, that a tweet was despatched from deepest St Reatham, declaring:

Royal Mail’s Adam Crozier is not wearing a poppy on Marr. Bad form.

I was personally more interested in hearing what Crozier had to say about the postal strike, rather than trying to put together a character assassination from some failed critique in symbolism.

@CllrMarkBennett Poppy or no-poppy – Not about “bad form” but personal sentiment. The wearing of a poppy is not a PR move.

People choose to honour the Glorious Dead in their own way. This may, or may not, involve the wearing a poppy. It didn’t take long for the good Councillor to come back with a misguided and failed misinterpretation of my tweet:

@Jason_Cobb How DARE you suggest I think it’s anything to do with PR. [um, I didn’t.] Personal sentiment irrelevant. 8500 people from org he leads died.

@Jason_Cobb And consider the sacrifice of people who died in war to allow you the freedom of ‘personal sentiment’. Or was theirs a PR move?

Twitter is great at many things – context ‘aint one of them. As @cllr_robbins has been finding out this week, the wonderful shiny new frontiers of 2.0 can trip up any in-experienced local politician that thinks a throwaway 140 character message is going to help them get elected next time round.

Of course there’s a danger of falling into the trap of thinking that all of these online missives are actually of any relevance. They’re not. They’re simply the modern interweb manifestation of rotten eggs being thrown at the people who deserve them the most.

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