Twitter is among things a place of jovial banter, it’s also a place for people to make connections. With the local elections on the horizon some political hopefuls are using this rather powerful tool to find a voice that transcends the usual letterbox stuffing and door knocking, giving a more personable voice to the candidate.
When I was voting in the last election I was able to ask candidates their stance on issues that affected me directly and normally I found this to be quite persuasive on my overall view of the candidates individually. My overall political view was being shaped in real-time by these eager candidates.
I was hoping that the next election would be played out in the same vein, and it was… sort of.
Thing is it can be a positive and a negative, as I found out when I made an off-hand comment about
future President of Britain local election hopeful Matthew J. Broadfield (Twitter User @Fen_Councillor) and his frequent lack of upper-casing in his tweets:
bouncybhall : Fingers crossed someone will buy @Fen_Councillor a new keyboard soon, his lack of upper-casing is starting to grate…
I must also admit that I was not following Broadfield, but instead I was seeing his tweets being retweeted by local newspaper editor John Elworthy.
This off-hand jovial comment led to this rather swift come-back:
fen_councillor thanks for reading @Bouncybhall Fingers crossed you will write something interesting, instead of boring peeps with useless info!!! LOL
So, as I wasn’t following him as such I figured I should let him know that it wasn’t ‘him’ that I was reading as such, with a smattering of sarcasm laid on top in return for the ‘boring peeps’ comment.
bouncybhall @Fen_Councillor nIcely puT siR.
bouncybhall @Fen_Councillor To be fair, I haven’t been following you, I would never, I just saw the tweets @johnelworthy Re-Tweeted for you…
bouncybhall @Fen_Councillor So no rush to get a keyboard. I’m sure you have better things to do, like Photoshopping your head onto Nick Griffin’s body.
I only mentioned Nick Griffin at this point as I was looking out for a more ‘successful’ odious political hopeful that perhaps Broadfield could aspire to be like. It was in no way insinuating that he has rather questionable/delusional political views – even if he has – it was merely the most familiar name I could pluck out of the air at the time.
The only problem with this choice was the fact that Broadfield assumed I meant something else:
fen_councillor @Bouncybhall is an IDIOT. I’m not racist Saeed(fone zone)Amin(Balti House) have my leaflet up and good friends. STOP mentioning me weirdo!!!
Now at this point I was getting rather bemused by these responses, given that I am a potential voter. Surely the ‘joke’ should have been a good opener to introduce himself to me? Obviously not… Now I shouldn’t have risen to this, but there was something obvious begging to be stated, and I let it out there:
bouncybhall @Fen_Councillor Ah the good old – “I’m not racist, I have (insert minority here) as close friends” – arguement… Classic! #NoVoteForYou
Not insulting as such, merely the contrived response begging to be utilised.
fen_councillor @Bouncybhall lets see how stupid you really are. What makes you think i am racist?
So off we go… he’s now got it into his head that I think that he is a racist and decides to call me out, I decided to calm down before I ended up animating his head onto Hitler or something:
bouncybhall @Fen_Councillor I never said that you were racist and have no doubt that you aren’t… you jumped to the conclusion.
Which I think was very fair.
fen_councillor @Bouncybhall Why mention about photoshopping my head onto Nick Griffens body then?
Which went to my mobile phone while I was making the kids some juice and came up as ‘Why Men’ which obviously wasn’t the message so I asked for confirmation on what he asked/stated. His reply wasn’t as polite as the request:
fen_councillor @Bouncybhall it is on my profile. Guessing you have no answer. Being ugly does not mean you stay at home and tweet stupid comments, ok?
I must admit I did consider going outside today, but my decision to stay indoors was actually tied to a poorly daughter, not a grotesque appearance (hopefully). I couldn’t leave it at that, despite wanting to walk away from this odious little man. I figured I’d just say everything, all at once.
(I’ve edited the tweets into one rant, as intended)
bouncybhall @Fen_Councillor Aha! So it is… Darn text delivery service. As for an ‘answer’ to why I said something I suppose you’d like me to say something alluding to a delusion perhaps? Or perhaps you would prefer me to explain in 140 characters or less why I think that your over-reaction to an off-hand comment has done nothing but instil within my mind that you are either the sort of political candidate who feels that they must constantly be on the defensive via a pathetic, insulting form of offensiveness… or… you genuinely feel that by giving grief to some ‘idiot’ on the Internet whom jovially commented on a Tweet you made that you may be considered a ‘winner’. Well news flash good sir, all you’ve really done is show yourself to be exactly the sort of person that I always hate to see entering the local political world. Embittered individuals satisfying some lacking personality by substituting actual conversation with rather childish name-calling. So if you don’t mind I shall toddle my ‘ugly’ face back to my ‘idiot’ life and read the genuinely interesting tweets by proper, potential candidates leaving you to your little victory on the Internet. Make sure you brag about it to your friends later. Well Done!
Which I feel covered it all rather well. I did intend on putting ‘odious little man’ in there somewhere, but hey you can’t have everything eh?
I admit I may have risen to the bait of this poisonous individual but as a potential voter I feel that I should probably quote Ghostbusters II’s Dr Venkman:
“You know, I’m a voter. Aren’t you supposed to lie to me and kiss my butt?”
I have had a lot of great experiences on Twitter with political people from Fenland but this was the first time that I felt bile flowing through Twitter. I would expect this of Nick Griffin. In the future I will also expect if from Mr Broadfield. Shame.
For the non-comment version of the Twitter Conversation go here: