Tag Archives: hashtag

“He’s a Tory” hashtag intended for David Cameron impacts instead… on KEIR STARMER

Keir Starmer: it seems the nation believes he is a Conservative cuckoo, only pretending he believes in Labour values. But will voters do enough to push him out of that party’s leadership on May 6?

This is the reason Labour is going to lose seats in the local elections next month, in a nutshell.

As I write this, the phrase “He’s a Tory” is trending on Twitter. It was intended as an explanation of David Cameron’s behaviour in lobbying his former colleagues in the Conservative government on behalf of his subsequent employer:

But it has been hijacked – unintentionally, it seems – by critics of Keir Starmer who have taken it to refer to the Labour leader’s own political leanings:

Yes, it says it all.

Most particularly, it says that Labour voters will abandon that party at the local elections next month.

The only question now is whether they will just stay at home, meaning the proportion of people voting will fall but the result is unlikely to be significantly different from usual.

Alternatively, they might choose to make their vote count by handing it to someone else. A boost for one of the minority parties like the Greens (or – more likely in the current climate – nationalists like Plaid Cymru or the SNP) would be a serious blow for Starmer’s credibility, along with that of the Labour Party he leads and may prompt a rethink of his leadership abilities.

It depends on how disaffected Labour voters feel.

Do they think withholding their vote will achieve anything?

Or do they actually want to push Labour into being better?

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Was Twitter campaign against Owen Jones organised by supporters of Rachel Riley – or of something more sinister?

Abuse: Here’s far-right Brexiteer James Goddard doing his best to rile Owen Jones in the incident last January that formed the basis for the Twitter attack.

Left-wing columnist Owen Jones has been the target of a Twitter ‘dogpile’ campaign – apparently organised by supporters of Countdown co-host Rachel Riley, who has attacked him in the past.

The aim was to target Mr Jones for abuse on the social media platform, using a hashtag with an offensive title that I shall not repeat here – although you can find it in Mr Jones’s own tweet below, in which he attributes the origin of the abuse campaign to a person going by the handle @SirBasilBrush:

The identity of the culprit is apparently confirmed in this tweet, using information from Laura Murray:

I did a bit of research into this individual and it seems he is a long-term supporter of Ms Riley. His timeline is littered with messages of support for her – including this one, in which he endorses a thread she wrote attacking a certain teenage girl. My own article on that particular saga has led to a libel suit (see the appeal to support my CrowdJustice campaign, below):

The Riley connection is important because other supporters of that person expressed their disgust when the offending hashtag was taken down – by linking it with one attacking their idol:

This Twitter user has also shown long-term support for Ms Riley:

But it also links those people with those on the extreme right wing of politics.

The clip used to trigger the hashtag attack was of far-right pro-Brexit protesters shouting abuse at him during and after a TV interview on College Green back in January.

Ms Riley’s antipathy towards Mr Jones is a matter of public record. To quote just one example, she attacked him in January this year – inaccurately, and shockingly – over his coverage of Holocaust Memorial Day.

She protested at the time that she is not a supporter of the far right. Maybe that’s true; I don’t propose to comment on it, one way or the other.

But questions need to be asked about why supporters of the far right seem so keen to link themselves with her.

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Mind games: Marr misspeaks anti-Tory film title to take heat off killer Tories

#IDanielBlake – not #IDanielCraig

Did you hear it?

Andrew Marr, interviewing Theresa May on his Sunday morning political chat show, referred to the film I, Daniel Blake – which is highly critical of the Department for Work and Pensions as it is run by the Conservatives; it shows a man with a serious heart condition being repeatedly denied benefits, forced to attend ridiculous training events, sanctioned out of his money for weeks at a time on specious grounds, and put through the enormous stress of a semi-judicial hearing to establish whether he should have benefits after all.

A female character is denied benefits because she arrives at a Job Centre a few minutes late for her appointment, starves herself so her children can eat, and ends up being tempted toward prostitution.

All these are accurate depictions of situations that have faced real benefit claimants, which is why damn-fool Tory vice-chairman James Cleverly tried to play it down by tweeting:

In response, he was inundated with news reports of real-life examples of the nightmare treatment dished out by the DWP in the film.

In fact, Twitter was full of such stories while – and after – the film was screened.

So, when Mr Marr mentioned the film to Theresa May, he said – well, hear it for yourself:

I disagree with Yannis Gourtsoyannis; this is not an example of TV presenters being unable to remember the names properly.

By confusing the film’s protagonist with a major movie star (and current James Bond), it seems likely Mr Marr hoped to divert attention away from the cacophony of fury that it had stirred up.

Sure enough, a new hashtag appeared on Twitter, ‘#IDanielCraig“.

It wasn’t entirely successful – some of the tweets were satirical, and highly critical of the government. But the connection with a major movie franchise provided distractions, as you can see if you click the link.

Lauren Gavaghan had it right: “Not mere accidents. Not about being so removed as not to remember either, in my view. Look how Daniel Craig has jumped to trending now.”

She tweeted:

I wonder how Daniel Craig feels about being used by the Tories in this way?

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Tory hashtag plan backfires; it turns out people WANT the #SameOldLabour

How many more campaign tactics will go horribly – or if you like, hilariously – wrong for the Conservatives?

Today, the Tories wanted to attack Labour with a Twitter hashtag. As Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls appeared on radio and TV programmes this morning, the Tories’ Carrie Symonds tweeted, “When Labour were in power they DOUBLED Council Tax. Now it appears Ed Balls plans to RAISE Council Tax again. #SameOldLabour”.

The main Tory Twitter account joined in, with “Here’s how Labour’s last approach to ‘budget responsibility’ turned out #SameOldLabour #BacktoBankruptcy.” This one added a photograph of the famous “no money” letter written by  former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne.

Perhaps this is what turned the mood of the tweeting nation. We’re all sick and tired of the Tories using that letter against Labour. It was meant in jest and it may have been a gross breach of protocol by the Tories to publicise what it said – not to mention being in very poor taste.

Suddenly, Labour Policies started tweeting positive Labour policies with the #SameOldLabour hashtag. For example: “On 1 April 2013, the Tories introduced the Bedroom Tax. On 8 May 2015, Labour’s Rachel Reeves, if elected, will 100% scrap it #SameOldLabour.”

This is a war of words that Labour is definitely winning – to Alistair Campbell’s joy: “Hope the Tory bright spark who came up with #SameOldLabour isn’t on performance related pay. Another @LyntonKCrosby campaign own goal,” he tweeted.

Of particular pleasure to This Writer is the following, very-much-retweeted commentary on the #SameOldLabour hashtag and its use by the Tories:

150413sameoldtony

Let’s have just one more, that This Writer created especially for this article:

150413sameoldvoxpolitical

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Fact trumps Tory fiction on the #RoadToRuin ‘Twitterstorm’

You’ll be aware that David Cameron and the Conservative Party metaphorically shot themselves through the head with their very first appeal to the voters in advance of May’s General Election.

Today (January 3) saw a mass movement on Twitter to get the facts of Conservative-led government across to the masses, using images and information to hammer home the realities.

The impact was so great that the campaign’s hashtag, #RoadToRuin, did not just trend in the UK but also in the USA, with around 30,000 messages sent between 6pm and 7pm. That’s 500 every minute.

Let’s have a look at some of them.

We’ll start with the infographics:

ruin1 ruin2 ruin3 ruin4 ruin5 ruin6 ruin7 ruin8 ruin9 ruin10 ruin11 ruin12 ruin13 ruin14 ruin15 ruin16 ruin17 ruin18 ruin19

ruin20 ruin21 ruin22 ruin23 ruin24 ruinsecondlast ruinlast

And here are some of the comments:

Meals on wheels for elderly in 63% decline under coalition, analysis finds. http://gu.com/p/44hjt/tw

Coalition’s VAT rate hike four years ago has cost families an average of £1,800 over four years.

1.5 million people on #RoadToRuin courtesy of the Work Programme.

#RoadToRuin when NHS pay private care home thousands of pounds for two week bed but won’t pay for nursing funding for 95-year-old.

Millions relying on foodbanks because Tories and FibDems put them on the #RoadToRuin.

Tory policy of taking money from public purse into privaet hands is #RoadToRuin.

They said they were “paying down our debts” but we know they haven’t. They said they have halved the deficit but they haven’t.

200,000 people waiting for first PIP assessment on the #RoadToRuin.

Tories will bring more low pay more insecure employment weaker employment rights in return for tax cuts for the rich.

90,000 children homeless, millions of people reliant on food banks; Tories call that a recovery.

2.25 million sanctioned – wiped off statistics. 3.45 million children in poverty. 900,000 use foot banks. Political poverty creation.

Rents and landlords need regulations. Rents are far too high and too many landlords are greedy and/or untrustworthy.

Independent Pay Review recommendations for nurses pay ignored on the #RoadToRuin.

220,000 less meals on wheels served to vulnerable people in 2014 than 2010 because of Conservative cuts.

Public sector workers didn’t cause greed-driven global banking crisis – that was bankers – who are still being rewarded today.

Mervyn King says no-one to blame for financial meltdown. Tory fibbers blame previous government.

After housing costs, 14.6 million (23.2 per cent UK population) in absolute poverty 2012-13, up 600,000. iaf.gd/lts

If you think things are bad now, Osborne still has 60 per cent of his planned cuts to make.

Govt doesn’t want public to challenge their policies in the Court of Human Rights so it wants to scrap Human Rights laws.

UK government to sell Eurostar stake before general election. Selling off family silver is #RoadToRuin.

Austerity is an excuse to shrink the state and sell off profitable public assets like Royal Mail leaving us on a #RoadToRuin.

Iain Duncan Smith to accelerate benefit reforms to stop Labour reversing them fw.to/EM13uib

Povery, hunger, foodbanks, privatisation of OUR NHS, zero-hours contracts, workfare, lies and broken promises!

Two companies to run more than half of privatised probation services. #RoadToRuin or complete insanity?

How many of these new jobs are low paid, don’t reach the tax threshold and have to be topped up by tax credits?

David Cameron is taking UK down a #RoadToRuin by forcing fracking and removing landowners rights.

The Tories scrapped rent controls for housing.

The Conservatives must go because they can never admit they are wrong e.g. badger cull. They will keep us on the #RoadToRuin.

Tories don’t care that we’re on the #RoadToRuin – they already have profitable consultancy positions lined up and the cuts won’t affect them.

400,000 children being taught by 17,000 unqualified teachers. Just not good enough. Failing our kids’ future.

With 400 tankers going to every fracking well every road will be in ruins.

Government is not properly regulating private companies and are allowing private companies to rip off public.

If the Conservatives win in May, our NHS will be lost forever.

If majjority of ‘jobs’ created are unpaid workfare, what happens to existing workforce competing against free labour?

Children shouldn’t go to school hungry or go home knowing they won’t eat till the next day. David Cameron, shame on you.

Tories like to keep us in a climate of fear and insecurity – makes their progress on the #RoadToRuin easier – that is, the road to OUR ruin.

Most of us plebs aren’t too savvy when it comes to economic stats but we know by instinct we’re worse off and being lied to by government.

For generations, people fought for a better world. Much of what they achieved has been undone in five years under the Conservatives.

I wasn’t born at the start of the war yet I paid the war debt down. Why the rush down the #RoadToRuin to pay a debt so quickly? We have time.

Bankers crippled the country. They got off. Decent people suffer.

They are taking away the dignity of the disabled.

Don’t become sick, disabled or old. You will be chucked out of Dave’s limo like a fag end discarded at the traffic lights.

The last word – in this article – goes to Yr Obdt Srvt, because it’s important:

Every Tory campaign statement is a step along the #RoadToRuin – let’s make sure they are ALL debunked as thoroughly as their first poster.

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Was there a secret Tory conspiracy to get rid of #CameronMustGo?

141208simpsonscameronmustgo

Even Bart Simpson thinks #CameronMustGo, according to this satirical cartoon by the Facebook page ‘David Cameron is killing Britain’.

The Twitter hashtag that caught the imagination of the nation has been unceremoniously retired – despite the fact that it is still being used by thousands of British citizens who have had enough of the man it names, and his government.

That’s right – #CameronMustGo has gone.

It disappeared from Twitter‘s United Kingdom trends an astonishing 16 days after it was launched and – suspiciously – while it was still being tweeted at least once every three seconds [accurate at time of writing].

Users instantly smelled a rat – has Twitter been hacked? Or has it been corrupted by Cameron’s cronies?

“# has disappeared from list. So tonight we test the water to try & bring it back Twitterstorm tonight 7pm plz RT” tweeted Sue Rose.

“Looks suspiciously as though censoring hashtag, doesn’t it?” suggested David White.

In order to test whether the hashtag really is being prevented from appearing on people’s screens, they launched a ‘Tweetstorm’ – a co-ordinated barrage of tweets using the hashtag – at 7pm this evening (Monday).

Result: Nothing.

No reappearance of the hashtag in these circumstances clearly suggests someone has taken action against it.

The hashtag has come under criticism – almost from Day One – from the mainstream media. The BBC, the Mirror and even The Guardian are among those who have said #CameronMustGo must go.

The Guardian’s article, headlined ‘#CameronWontGo: why a Twitter campaign alone can’t bring about change’, attracted a less-than-140-character rebuke from ‘Jen’.

She tweeted: “If it means nothing…why is it no longer showing?! It is not because people have stopped tweeting #

At 7.48pm (19:48 GMT) #CameronMustGo had still failed to reappear, despite being tweeted more than 20,000 times in the previous 60 minutes, according to one bemused user.

This story is not over, but we’ll leave the last word to that man – David Crossweller. His tweet?

has nearly over 20,000 tweets in the past hour and isn’t trending? , you bad birdy.”

Breaking:  Thanks are due to Stephen Dolan for the following information. He writes: “Regarding Twitter trends.
https://support.twitter.com/articles/101125-faqs-about-twitter-s-trends#
“‘The new algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help people discover the ‘most breaking’ breaking news from across the world. (We had previously built in this ‘emergent’ algorithm for all local trends, described below.) We think that trending topics which capture the hottest emerging trends and topics of discussion on Twitter are the most interesting.'”

“So by definition you can’t trend for a long time.”

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BBC finally reports on #CameronMustGo – and makes a mess of it

Pure genius from Dr Eoin Clarke: "I agree with Albert. E = #CameronMustGo."

Pure genius from Dr Eoin Clarke: “I agree with Albert. E = #CameronMustGo.”

Yes, it’s true. #BBCtrending has finally deigned to notice what – according to its own report – six million of us have already realised: That a hashtag campaign on Twitter called #CameronMustGo is proving very popular.

To put that in context – and because Yr Obdt Srvt has just been debating the extent of the campaign’s reach, on Twitter, with a right-wing naysayer – this means around one-third of the UK’s Twitter users are likely to have seen at least one #CameronMustGo tweet.

The naysayer was quick to point out that not all those reading the tweets will have been sympathisers – “many will be laughing at it like I am” – and this is true. But the intention was not to sway public opinion so far that it forces his resignation, according to one of the people who started it, and who is quoted saying as much in the article.

(You see, we know that Cameron is so insensitive he wouldn’t resign just because large numbers of people demanded it! We don’t even know what he’ll do when he loses next year’s election!)

“‘It’s not about forcing Cameron to resign,’ Gail, 33, told BBC Trending… Rather, she says, it’s about enabling people to talk about their views and experiences. ‘We know a lot of people who are frustrated with politics and they feel they don’t have a voice. Social media is our space.'”

The article went on to claim that “people using the slogan have also been targeting The Guardian and BBC Trending to try to get media coverage for the trend – and so boost its popularity further”. Oh, really?

You know by now that an Oh, really? on this site means somebody’s got it wrong again and this time it’s the BBC, which seems to have suddenly developed an over-inflated opinion of itself. The BBC was targeted after it failed to cover the huge popularity of the campaign at the appropriate time. The statistics in its own report show that #CameronMustGo doesn’t need the BBC to improve its popularity.

What a shame the report did not highlight some of the more off-colour reactions to the campaign – like the targeting of Jack Monroe over her tweet, by spiteful right-wingers who wanted to take a high-profile leftie scalp in revenge for the damage #CameronMustGo is causing them. The subject of her tweet had been well covered previously – by this very site, for one – proving that the targeting of Jack was strategic, and unwarranted.

But the article does ask a pertinent question about the campaign’s effect on politics: “So could this be the beginning of a new phase of British ‘hashtag politics’? No, according to Andrew Walker, co-founder of social media analytics company, Tweetminster. ‘I give it two weeks,’ he tells BBC Trending.”

What a shame Vox Political never kept the tweet that appeared within the first hour of the campaign, claiming it wouldn’t last more than a few hours. The Metro newsrag also suggested it was a mass whinge that wouldn’t last more than a few days. Both are being proved wrong – perhaps Mr Walker can make it a hat trick.

“He says hashtags can quickly become popular on Twitter, but it’s difficult to keep a campaign rolling, as new catchphrases are coined and catch on. And while social media is effective at influencing local politics, it’s less effective at making a big impact on national politics, where voting behaviour is hard to shift, he says, noting that 29.6% of seats have never changed party.”

Clearly Mr Walker hasn’t taken account of the fact that Cameron and the Coalition are making new mistakes all the time, and #CameronMustGo has become a convenient peg on which to hang tweets about them. So, for example, VP‘s tweet yesterday, combining it with Rachel Reeves’ speech: “ because he has done nothing about Iain Duncan Smith’s “.

Despite what the BBC and its stooges may say, it seems likely that this phenomenon will stay with us for a few days yet. After all, if it can beat the social media juggernaut that is I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here to the top spot, it’s got legs.

Even if it doesn’t last, its effect will echo on. There will be new campaigns, and they will try to equal or beat the impact of this one.

That’s not bad going for a “mass whinge”.

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