MPs – including Croydon’s trio of Gavin Barwell, Steve Reed OBE and Chris Philp – have been given several weighty documents to read as they head off on their long summer break, including a 5,000-word dossier offering a step-by-step guide to using Twitter.
Croydon Council leader Tony Newman might want to ask Reed if he can borrow his copy.
The MPs’ Twitter guide urges politicians of all political parties to “tell the truth” (ha!) and “never tweet while drunk” (ho! ho! hic!), and encourages the Parliamentarians to tweet about “normal things people are interested in”.
Remember the embarrassment when David Cameron, the “lifelong Villa fan”, was caught singing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (at least metaphorically) when on the election stump in Croydon on behalf of that well-known Liverpool supporter Barwell (yes… Imagine Gav on The Kop)?
Perhaps with this in mind, the MPs’ Twitter manual adds a warning. “Don’t fake interest in your local football team”. Presumably because you’d risk being exposed as a calculating and bogus politician.
Newman might wish to heed such advice.
Newman, who has been known to confide to close confidants that he is a supporter of a lower league side from west London, has updated his Twitter profile to express his support for something called “Croydon AFC”.
There is no such football club.
There is Croydon FC, aka Croydon or “The Trams”.
And there is AFC Croydon Athletic, who might be referred to as Athletic, nicknamed “The Rams”.
But Croydon AFC? Nope.
No real fan would ever manage to get the name or initials of their club wrong, not least because they’d risk the wrath of their mates on what passes for the terraces these days, to be dismissed as a “plastic” fan.
Newman has been known to be friendly with former councillor, Paul Smith, who is the chairman at Croydon Athletic. But if you’re seeking to establish your credentials as a local man of the people, you really need to sweat the details.
Whoever is trying to advise Woodside councillor Newman on his “public relations”, or running his Twitter account for him, really needs to do a bit more research. Or just stop bullshitting on social media, as our MPs have been so sagely advised.
- Inside Croydon Events: for dates and links to what’s happening in and around Croydon, updated daily, click here
Inside Croydon: Named among best regional media campaigns, 2014.
- Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 729,297 page views in 2014.
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org