It was always going to happen. Today Stuart MacLennan, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Moray (it’s in Scotland), was sacked because of tweets he posted before he was selected. Quite brilliantly he is quoted as saying in the past, “”Iain Dale reckons the biggest gaffes will likely be made by candidates on Twitter – what are the odds it’ll be me?”
Obviously you’ll be wondering what he said, so if you’re not too easily offended I would direct you here and here. Personally I agree with quite a few of his observations about other politicians, ugly people on trains and the prevalence of chavs in Stirling. While I would defer to David Miliband on all matters banana related, I think it’s safe to say that, in general, it’s probably best not to extol the benefits of slavery in public regardless of whether you have been selected by the Labour Party.
Absent from the discussions surrounding this so far is the implication that, in order to properly vet candidates, selection committees are going to have to request candidates’ twitter IDs to check past tweets, befriend them on Facebook to check for photos of them being blacked-up, all message board activity on any forum they’ve ever used… the list is virtually limitless. And as time goes on increasing numbers of candidates will be web-savvy and this problem will only ever increase. Call me prejudicial but my image of selection committees is not of 20-somethings sitting behind laptops asking the prospective candidates about the nature of their online presence. I doubt most would know how to retrospectively analyse someone’s twitter account.
So, as they might say on News 24, expect more on this ahead later.