A response to recent events and the response of the Twitterverse.

I must say, I’m writing this with some caution, I realise some of my fellow tweeters may not agree with what I say, but tough, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
So, Harriet Harman said something about Danny Alexander being a red rodent? I’ve heard that before entering government, Danny Alexander’s job was something to do with squirrels, so there you go, maybe that’s where it came from.. Of course, everyone will make their own suggestions of where the comment came from, and I’ve no doubt that some of the more right wing press will take this as an opportunity to attack Labour. (Surprise, surprise, that’s politics!)
Now, I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to politics, I’m not the most well informed person, and on a few too many basis’s I don’t completely understand what everyone is talking about. The point is, I’m sure you all know how everything goes better than me, but really, not a part of me believes Mrs Harman would say something to offend or hurt someone, I think that what she said has been taken out of context and twisted to suit people’s opinions.
What I’m really upset by is the fact that people have chosen to show their nasty side, on the social networking site ‘Twitter’ I do think it is rather uncalled for, voice your opinion and let go. What has also annoyed me is how people seem to have forgotten all the good Mrs Harman has done, and does for our party. I don’t understand how they could turn their back on her.
This type of moral panic over Twitter infuriates me, I believe Twitter is a place for Comradery, not impoliteness. I’m not condoning what Mrs Harman said, because it’s not my place to. But tweeters,please,  just stop. We should be fighting the coalition! Not each other. I’m more disappointed by some of you, than her.
I admire and support Mrs Harman, and I’m grateful for everything she has done for our party and country.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stackee
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 14:10:08

    I don’t think it’s a case of forgetting Harriet has done good, it’s more a case of she should know better.

    Not only regarding what she says, but how the more salient points of her speech will now be overlooked because of one throwaway comment.

    In a world full of soundbytes (which are always without context), misjudged jokes that are, in essence, mocking somebody’s personal appearance are uncalled for and will always be the focal point.

    I know Danny’s been called a muppet, too, but that’s a comparison to a fictional character and unlikely to upset many – whereas ginger people have suffered much abuse and continue to do so, over the years purely because of their physical appearance.

    But she’s apologised now, and if Danny excepts that we can just move along. 🙂


  2. Molly Bennett
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 14:13:59

    Have always rated Harman myself, but this was at best a gaffe – especially from someone who worked so hard for equalities legislation. I don’t think those of us in the Party who are voicing our disquiet are making an all-out attack on Harman, though. It’s probably a measure of her standing that this has caused shock and disappointment. I’d certainly hope that voicing criticism of what I perceive as an inappropriate comment doesn’t automatically make me disloyal to the party as a whole 😉


  3. Tim Mullen
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 14:32:46

    I must confess to commenting from a position of ignorance, having neither seen Harriet’s remarks, or read anything about them on Twitter, but as a 25 year veteran of Labour politics in Stoke, and someone who has never held elected office, calling someone a “red squirrel” hardly seems to me to be a capitol offence, merely a politician’s not very good sense of humour (most of them, Dennis Skinner excepted, should shy away from the comedy as they’re not very good at it!).

    However, I agree with your general thrust, that Labour Party members and supporters should remember that social networking sites, be they Twitter, Facebook or whatever, are easily read by non-supporters, and any perceived disunity will quickly be seized upon.

    Yes, we will have our disagreements, but their are times and places to air those disagreements and grievances, and they should be amongst comrades and in private.

    We have enough enemies in the Murdoch press and Associated Newspapers, amongst others, to not give those enemies ammunition which can hurt us electorally, and therefore I would urge people to remember that, whilst the Labour Party is a forum for disagreement and debate, we should in public at least, remember the lessons of the early 1980’s when our divisions drove us to the brink of extinction, and it took Neil Kinnock’s inspirational Brighton Conference speech to drag us back from the precipice. If we want this ConDem farago of a Coalition Government to be a one-term wonder, then we must stay united, remember it is they and their cutbacks that we are fighting, and not ourselves.


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