Smouldering parliamentary candidate Mark Clarke might have youthful looks on his side, but he’s got a Tory’s gift for internet gaffes, it seems.
Useful idiot Sunny Hundal, who writes the extremist Left-wing political blog Liberal Conspiracy, is occasionally… well, useful. He draws our attention today to yet another unforced error from a political figure on the right.
Gaming Twitter followers is something normally reserved for crackpots and con artists. But it seems that prospective parliamentary candidate Mark Clarke has been busted for attempting to inflate his apparent popularity.
Clarke stood against Sadiq Khan in Tooting at the last General Election, but was considered by some party insiders to be a bit wild. “We have very grave concerns,” The Mail on Sunday reports a Tory councillor as saying. “There are people who are worried [Clarke] could damage the party if he is elected. He would be a handful.”
Purchasing or otherwise illicitly acquiring 50,000 followers is the sort of schoolboy error politicians can no longer afford to make. That Clarke failed to win a seat in 2010 is in some ways a blessing, if this episode speaks to his judgment. It would have been a serious embarrassment to a party that often struggles to get to grips with technology.
You can read Hundal’s blog post for the lurid forensic detail. More significant generally is the perpetual technological incompetence of our political classes.
When so much discourse in the public square is shaped by social media (primarly because journalists are so lazy), it’s a sad indictment of the people who rule us that their only authentic and well-mannered representatives online are comic figures such as Louise Mensch and Sally Bercow.
Won’t someone drop by the Palace of Westminster and teach them how to tie their digital shoelaces?