I have to admit it, I’m a Twitter addict.
After Munguin’s Republic (to read your comments), it’s invariably the first thing I look at on the net.
On a regular basis, I see silly tweets from a wide variety of politicians, Scottish and otherwise. My favourites are, of course, the likes of Richard Leonard, demanding that the SNP take water back into public ownership, pay Glasgow council female employees fairly, or something equally embarrassing that Labour is failing to do in Wales or failed to do during their 13-year tenure in Downing Street, but that the SNP MUST do, and Labour would definitely do were it to ever gets its hands on power in Scotland.
Even sillier are tweets from the likes of Murdo Fraser about the Queen’s Eleven, almost certainly typed later on in the evening, if you get my drift!
There is no shortage of Tories making idiots of themselves on Twitter. Miles Briggs, Ross Thomson, Jackson Carlaw, to name but a few. And my favourite: Jamie Greene.
Today in true Greene style, Jamie hit out at the First Minister, who has been on business in the USA and Canada.
He accompanied this graphic (did he pay staff to do it, tut tut, or is he a wee whiz on the ‘puter himself?) with text that read…
“If Nicola Sturgeon wants to go to the US to talk about independence then the should pay for it. The Scottish taxpayer should not be left with a bill of thousands of pounds so that the First Minister can fly first class, grandstand and talk up .”
Now, the reason I mention this is not to highlight Jamie’s graphic or literary skills.
Rather, I wanted to show the utter pointlessness of this kind of tweet.
It raised a lot of interest, of that, no doubt. I counted roughly 200 replies and there may be more by now. And, of course, I didn’t read every one in detail, but from what I could see, not one single person was agreeing with Jamie. (I’ll take that back if someone finds a supportive tweet. As I say, I didn’t read every one.)
Now, given that one criticism of Twitter is that people tend to follow and be followed by, people with roughly the same outlook and opinions, and given that Jamie is a Tory list MSP, you might expect that the bulk of his followers would be Conservatives or at least have Conservative leanings.
It seems, then, a bit strange that there is so little support for his tweet.
On the contrary, people have laid into this intervention with some interesting counter facts.
Firstly, of course, as various people pointed out, Nicola Sturgeon didn’t go to the USA to talk about independence, she went on a trade mission. That is a part of her job.
Any idiot could have found that out in any number of ways.
Well, I’ll rephrase that, almost any idiot could.
Jamie also seems concerned that Nicola travelled first class.
Now I have no idea whether on not she did. I suspect that on a transatlantic flight, where you are expected to start work, be photographed and do interviews the minute you deplane, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do so.
I’m sure that her counterpart in London doesn’t travel tourist on these flights.
And I’m sure that when Fluffy took himself off on a trade mission to South America on behalf of the British government, he didn’t travel steerage. So there really is a bit of a pot and kettle thing going on there.
The job of the first minister includes representing Scotland all over the world. That’s the deal. It specifically says that in her job description: “ promoting and representing Scotland at home and overseas”. Not to do so would be a dereliction of duty, and as far as I know, all first minister, regardless of party, have done it. I suspect that they too did not travel tourist.
So far so bad, Jamie.
Many tweeters point out a series of other facts to Jamie, just in case he was unaware of them, a fair number concerning the incompetence, wastefulness and general slackness regarding taxpayers money in matters within the purview of the government run by his own party.
That one is my favourite… (To be fair I really really dislike Foxy, the disgraced former defence minister.) And there’s a wee additional comment to that particular graphic.
One guy pointed out that there was, in fact, a trade deal ready to sign.
It’s with the Faroe Islands, and according to him, it’s for whelks! (I’m sure you appreciate, knowing my love of the Nordic nations, that I mean no disrespect to the people of the Faroe Islands. I’ll bet it’s for more than Whelks. But Liam did promise us 40 deals just awaiting his signature on behalf of the queen, and no matter how good the trade deal with Thorshavn, Whelks won’t sustain us far into April. Keep up the good work your doctorness.)
As always in these matters, people do kinda go off topic ever so slightly, and mention is made of a fair few matters, not in the least concerning Nicola and her job, rather matters where the UK government has wasted endless amounts of Scottish and British taxpayers’ money.
One interesting one, I thought, was in the matter, recently in the news, of Labour MPs being bribed with cash for their constituencies to vote for Theresa’s hairbrained scheme to leave the EU, but to tie Britain to all its strictures without giving it any say in their composition. In fact, not so much “taking back control”, rather giving away the very considerable control that they had (a veto on some matters and a heavily balanced qualified majority vote on others).
It concerns a letter to the Times (no less) from Lord Thomas of Gresford QC (no less).
It seems that Jamies’ prime minister may be skating on very thin ice in this respect. And, that being the case in respect of Labour MPs, may she not also have done so in the matter of the cash bribe(s) to Arlene’s Orange Fest?
Nice of Jamie to facilitate the more open discussion of this matter, not (as far as I know) aired much by the BBC and hidden away in the august setting of the relatively little read Times’ letters’ page.
Jamie’s tweets may be read here.