Let’s have a look:
It’s uncanny … they’re both black!
“Gorgeous” George Galloway went on a bit of an EDM-spree last Thursday, laying down six individual pieces of parliamentary graffiti in a single day. Galloway is a prodigious user of EDMs having been the primary sponsor of 77 of them in just over six months.
But one of George’s less popular Early day motions caught Scrapbook’s eye this morning – especially in light of continued debates around the regulation of the internet.
Early day motion 1190 – currently only backed by two MPs – states that:
“That this House notes that Twitter is now a very widely used mode of social networking; further notes that Twitter is a US-based enterprise whose primary motivation is to maximise its profits; further notes that Twitter is now used for a variety of criminal activities including sending malicious communications; further notes that Twitter refuses to co-operate with the UK authorities in general and the police in particular in trying to detect the source of criminal communications ‘unless it is a matter of life and death’, to be determined by Twitter; believes that this failure to co-operate with the detection of the sources of criminal behaviour is reprehensible; and calls on the Government to impose sanctions on Twitter until it agrees to fully co-operate with the UK authorities and police in the detection of crime.”
Yet despite Galloway’s attempts to have sanctions placed on Twitter – the Bradford MP certainly hasn’t been toning down his use of the network. Despite his concerns, he’s sent well over 100 Tweets and Retweets since placing the EDM on Thursday.
That’s one type of boycott that George seems unwilling to make
While MPs would have us believe that they spend recess doing “constituency casework”, Corby’s celebrity representative Louise Mensch spent much of yesterday haranguing Scrapbook after we highlighted the 17,000 fake accounts following her on Twitter.
The obvious defence would be that she hadn’t bought them herself, which was why Scrapbook was careful never to make this allegation in the first place. But this didn’t stop Mensch claiming that we had yesterday, insisting that we had used the word “scandal” — before “backing down down without admitting it”.
@PSbook v cowardly stuff not to admit you backed off implication; no “scandal at Westminster” if some troll spams my acct. typical of u tho.
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) July 26, 2012
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) July 25, 2012
From national newspapers and the BBC down to blogs, online publishers routinely “rush out” stories before updating them. Our original post referred to the “epidemic of Tories” with paid-for followers — perfectly reasonable given this is from a Liberal Conspiracy post documenting the trend. But repeatedly misquoting us yesterday, Mensch substituted the decidedly more accusatory word “scandal”, implying its removal meant that we had changed our line.
For the avoidance of doubt, we stand by the original wording – there is still an epidemic of Tories with thousands of fake followers.
Scrapbook is happy to be attacked by Tory MPs — provided they get their facts straight.
This morning the account called for Londoners to head to polling stations — adding the dubious qualification that they should vote for whoever they like. With Boris branding and 277,000 followers however, there will only be one candidate benefiting from these messages.
Polls are open. Please use your vote – whoever you support
— Boris Johnson (@MayorofLondon) May 3, 2012
Don’t let the rain dissuade you. Use your vote – whichever way you want to cast it
— Boris Johnson (@MayorofLondon) May 3, 2012
Doubtless Conservative activists will feign shock at our cynicism.
The fallout from the CMS Committee’s report into phone hacking continued this morning, with private committee discussion spilling out on to Twitter after Louise Mensch revealed details of MPs deliberations on this morning’s Today Programme.
In acrimonious exchanges, it was revealed that Mensch had withdrawn an amendment critical of James Murdoch, while Watson seemed to imply that Rupert’s son had been tipped off as to MPs’ concerns — sending the committee a letter addressing issues raised in private.
Being forced to apologise by her peers for levelling unfounded hacking accusations clearly hasn’t tempered Mrs Mensch’s self-rightous indignation.
Whilst the London mayoral election rages on, Lynton Crosby, the shadowy lobbyist who runs Boris’ reelection campaign, is suing an Australian MP over a message on Twitter.
Crosby and his business partner Mark Textor are seeking aggravated damages from Mike Kelly, a Labor MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, claiming that one of his tweets libellously accused them of illegal practices.
The message accused Crosby’s company of so-called “push polling”, in which a campaign attempts to alter voters’ views through leading and suggestive questions. The tweet below is vigorously denied by the firm.
“always grate (sic) to hear moralizing from Crosby, Textor, Steal & Gnash. The mob who introduced push polling to Aus”
Meanwhile, back in the British capital, an op-ed piece from the Daily Mail has questioned the conduct of Lynton Crosby during his tenure as Boris’ campaign director. It highlights a number of shaming incidents including:
In the words of one City Hall staffer: “There is a culture here of not needing to stick to the rules exactly; that somehow they are not really designed for us.”
As Scrapbook observed yesterday evening, Boris Johnson’s team may have committed another breach of election rules even as they returned the Twitter account their campaign had stolen from the Greater London Authority.
In making their U-turn, Boris’ team used the mayor’s official Twitter account — run by taxpayer-funded staff in City Hall — to advertise his @BackBoris2012 spin account. The offending message has now been mysteriously deleted. Naturally, we have a copy:
This is now the subject of yet another official complaint to election watchdogs:
“I am deeply disturbed that yesterday evening (at 6.40pm) a tweet was sent out from the Mayor’s official twitter account which mentioned Boris Johnson’s political twitter account and which linked directly to it. This is a further misuse of City Hall resources and a clear breach of use of resources rules … This compounds the early breaches of misuse of resources.”
We hope that Back Boris enjoyed the first day of the short campaign … tied down by procedure over purdah rules.
After hijacking the mayor of London’s official twitter account for his own campaign earlier today, Boris Johnson has made a U-turn over fears he has breached the strict election rules around use of taxpayer-funded resources while campaigning.
As the mayor’s official Twitter, the @MayorOfLondon account was administered by staff in City Hall. By appropriating it, the Boris campaign gained access to more than 250,000 followers — slightly more than the 3,700 for @BackBoris2012.
Hilariously, he may even have broken so-called purdah rules in his climb down tweet, which provided a link to his political account. Quite a turnaround from this afternoon, which saw the Back Boris campaign spinning:
As some of you may have noticed, earlier today Boris changed the name of his Twitter account from @MayorofLondon to @BorisJohnson. While the name of the account may have changed, rest assured that the account is still – and has always been – controlled by Boris.
Controlled by Boris … or GLA officials paid for by the taxpayer.