MPs and social media

May 12th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

An interesting story from Kate Chapman at Stuff:

The oversharers

Oversharing on is nothing new. Everyone has friends who insist on posting endless Facebook updates about what they ate for breakfast or daily selfies on Instagram.

MPs are no less immune. No one really wanted to know that Gilmore’s new girlfriend thought he was “96kgs of fit hot Kiwi beef”. Nor were we concerned about what National’s Tau Henare benchpressed that day or that United Future leader Peter Dunne had computer problems.

NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor’s Twitter account reveals she has an opinion on everything but has failed to grasp some basic realities, particularly the background of her parliamentary colleagues after she said “few businessmen are capable of being in politics”.

Asked whether she got a tweeting lesson from leader Winston Peters, Lole-Taylor lashed out: “that is the kind of racism and discrimination that people like you wld use when you run out of anything intelligent to say”.

My highlight with Asenati is when she abuses and then blocks journalists. A great way to get good publicity.

Labour MP Clare Curran must be Parliament’s queen of tedium with more than 16,000 tweets, many of which were snipes or arguments with other politicians or media. “On #WorldPressFreedom Day in NZ there r no killings of journalists to mourn, instead insidious strangulation of the craft,” she griped recently.

Not so much a glass half empty, but more a glass never ever full.

There are of course a few MPS who’ve hit the nail on the head. Justice Minister Judith Collins joined Twitter recently and was off with a good mix of humour and scorn.

Labour MP Trevor Mallard has sent more than 10,400 tweets on just about every topic and his colleague Chris Hipkins also balances partisan politics with snippets from everyday life.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has adapted his snide remarks for social media well: “according to Treasury advice the economic return from The Hobbit tourism is, just like JRR Tolkien’s book itself, a complete work of fantasy”.

There are certainly a lot of twits on Twitter, there are several in Parliament too. The problem with sending out immediate 140-character dispatches is that there isn’t enough time for self-editing.

It has been the downfall of many a public figure and it’s only a matter of time before one of our MPs reveals themselves as a complete twit.

My favourite Twitter episode was the war between Trevor Mallard and Russel Norman. They will be such a stable Government one day.

6 Responses to “MPs and social media”

  1. Floyd60 (117 comments) says:

    Interesting the mention of ‘Crusher’ Collins. She really has grown to resemble her nick name.

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  2. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Witless morons in witless moronic tweeting shock.

    Pope Catholic; bears excreting in arboreal environments…

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  3. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    I agree re Collins, she has made a genuine attempt to engage on Twitter.

    And Curran, too many inane “look at me” trivia. Like one of her latest:

    #randomsong can’t believe I am saying I really like a Beyonce song but I do. If I were a boy

    I can’t believe she says things like that on Twitter.

    My own electorate MP David Clark might have something useful to tweet but I don’t know – he has blocked me (one of his constituents) from following him. And so has Curran:

    You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.

    That’s disgraceful for any MP let alone ones from my own city.

    Trevor Mallard also blocks me from following him, another MP who won’t tolerate being his message being challenged. So he doesn’t deserve in the ” hit the nail on the head” category.

    The article disses Peter Dunne, he does tweet a bit of trivia but he is one of the most accessible and active MPs on Twitter, I think that’s commendable for one of the longest serving and senior MPs in Parliament. Recently journalists on Twitter commented on Dunne’s accessibility as a politician as “only in New Zealand”.

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  4. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Deep down inside, Trevor Mallard is really a bit of a wanker.

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  5. Tauhei Notts (2,367 comments) says:

    According to Treasury advice the economic return from Hobbit tourism is nil.
    Try telling that to a retired chartered accountant now using the family farm at Buckland Road, Hinuera.

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  6. Zapper (1,241 comments) says:

    Not all that deep inside

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