David Cameron once said that his reasoning behind not jumping aboard the Twitter bandwagon was that "too many twits might make a twat". You would hope that those running our country would understand the dangers of hanging their dirty laundry on cyberspace, but that might be giving our politicians too much credit. Here are our top five biggest political Twitter blunders…
Scottish Labour Party candidate, Stuart MacLennan, 24, left both the public and his party with that watery taste of disdain in their mouths after his shocking twittering indiscretions came to light. Slagging off his own constituency, MacLennan complained about having to trudge "up north", labelling the locals as "chavs" and the elderly, "coffin dodgers". Even posting random and toe-curling tweets as, "God this fair-trade organic banana is shit. Can I have a slave grown, chemically enhanced, genetically modified one please." Despite MacLennan’s feeble apology, referring to his behaviour as "very, very silly", he was sacked and made to walk the walk of shame right out of his candidacy.
Going by his endless stream of Twitter mutterings, you wouldn’t think that the Labour MP for Glasgow South Tom Harris had a job, let alone think him an MP. From tweets like, "the salad bowls at Pizza Hut are tiny! How many chips do they expect me to squeeze in there?" To "can't find the TV remote control", the MP definitely appears to be utilising his time in the office effectively. Though Harris hasn’t been asked to curb his Twittering antics just yet, probably because he hasn’t managed to offend anyone with his colossal banality, it does beg the question, why does he think we have any desire to know that he buys pizza on expenses (well, possibly) and is getting forgetful in his old age?
Many may of thought it, but it was only Mr David Wright, Labour MP for Telford that actually micro-blogged it. Responding to the poster campaign launched by the Conservatives where they tried to reach out to disenchanted Labour voters with the slogan "I’ve never voted Tory before, but…" Wright promptly tweeted, "Ivenevervotedtory because you can put lipstick on a scum-sucking pig, but it’s still a scum-sucking pig." His comments aside what made it worst was his moronic explanation following this little spurt. Like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Wright claimed that he had not in fact branded the Tories "scum-sucking pigs" but had instead been victim of Twitterjacking, "I think some third party inserted this into my Twitter account. We are trying to find out how that happened from Twitter." Classy.
On May 14, at 12:29am, the newly appointed Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone was taking a bath. How do we know this? She tweeted it. Apparently, the 58-year-old Lib Dem politician believed that this little tidbit of information was just far too juicy for the public not to be privy to. Unfortunately for Featherstone, senior civil servants were not amused by her salacious candour and she received a stern telling off.
And it would seem that it is not only our lot that has tripped and stumbled into the clearly signposted social networking potholes. US Republican politician Jeff Frederick made a code red political blunder when he used Twitter to get the word out that a Democrat had decided to bat for the Republicans in the Virginia senate, which was head to head at the time, he tweeted: "big news coming out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus." But Frederick impetuousness cost him and the Republicans a nice jammy victory, for it gave the Democrats both the heads up and time to convince their wavering Senator to stay put, which he did.