Back November, in the wake of a spate of leaks to the media, the Labour party announced that they were to draw up a code of conduct for their MPs and members covering social media use. Leaks aside, everyone is prone to a typo or the odd moment of bad judgement and not many people get scrutinised as much as politicians do online. They can be forgiven for erring on the side of caution, as the fallout from five of my favourite episodes, when MPs probably wished Twitter came with an edit button, shows.
5 – George Osborne and the posh burger
You may ask why was George Osborne criticised for eating a burger and chips? After a thorough investigation from the Twittersphere it was revealed he was eating a ‘gourmet’ burger from the Byron chain as opposed to some cheaper options that are available (the cheek!). Eric Pickles later admirably mocked the post with a healthier alternative.
4 – Emily Thornberry – White van man blunder
Emily Thornberry was accused of turning up her nose in this post from Rochester, a mistake which later led to her resignation from the Labour shadow cabinet for supposedly patronising a constituent.
3 – David Cameron’s tweets a parody account
On the face of it, this tweet seems innocuous enough but when an Ian Duncan Smith parody account is out there tweeting the likes of ‘My salary is £65,000 a year. After petrol, food and housing are deducted I’m only left with £65,000 a year. I deserve a pay rise.’ and ‘I’ve always supported a Mansion Tax. Your Tax buys my Mansion. Chin chin!’ it’s fair to say linking to the right account would have spared the Prime Minister some blushes.
2 – Ed Balls remembering his name
On the basis of this gaffe Labour should perhaps be sending MPs for intensive Twitter lessons as well as enforcing that code of conduct. That said, I don’t think Ed Balls would ever have anticipated the popularity of his maiden tweet. The 28th of April is now gathering recognition at the ‘official’ Ed Balls Day and next year will be its 5th Anniversary!
1 – David Cameron’s super-serious phone call
Phone calls don’t come as serious as a call to President Obama about the Russia-Ukraine conflict. So, David Cameron added a photo to illustrate just that in case you hadn’t grasped the severity of the situation already. The reception of this tweet was pretty funny. All credit to the likes of comedian Rob Delaney and actor Patrick Stewart jumping on the bandwagon.
Euan Stirling is a Social Media Executive for Indigo