Ranty Friday — #CameronMustGo

Am I allowed to say “Back by popular demand”?   Since people have said “Oohhh… Ranty Friday is back, I loved it” when I did one last week I have decided to bring it back again.  So here goes.

This is probably going to be a controversial one this week and I might regret this but here goes.

All week, on Twitter, #CameronMustGo has been trending.   Well it might not have been ALL week but it has certainly been on the trends list for a good four days now.  And it bothers me for a couple of reasons, but before I get into those let me put this out there and make it very clear before this becomes some kind of political debate.   I am not a fan of David Cameron’s.  I think what he has done with most of his policies is harmful at best, and downright damaging to millions of people at worst.   Please remember that statement as you read the rest of this post.

David Cameron, like him or loathe him is doing his job.   He is doing what he thinks is right and fighting for what he believes in.  Despite the rest of us thinking otherwise.   Should we really be starting campaigns on Twitter demanding he goes?  I really don’t think we should.

Imagine you were David Cameron.  Actually scrap that.   Imagine you are you with a deep seated conviction for something.  How would you feel if you saw trending on Twitter that #<insert name>MustGo    How would you feel if you knew millions of people were basically calling for your head on a plate for a week?

Is it not bullying in the extreme?

Is that really what social media is for?  Bullying somebody en masse?  Does it not smack of mob mentality?

It makes me feel very uncomfortable.

This isn’t how British politics work either.  We don’t all tweet en masse in order to bring about the Prime Minister’s resignation.  I am pretty sure something else has to happen for that to take place.  Like a General Election?  And I am also pretty certain that we can’t ask for one of those just by sending a tweet.

Ditto getting them to change policies, surely there have to be meetings with Select Committees in order for change to happen?   I am not saying don’t use social media for change,of course I am not, but making it personal I think is wrong.   Regardless of who that person is.

We are quick to call out bullies on Twitter and also quick to support anti-bullying campaigns yet feel it is acceptable to bully a man just because he is Prime Minister?   That makes me very uncomfortable.    Whilst many of us don’t agree on his politics, and find what he has done to Britain unforgivable, he is still a human being and I don’t think # campaigns calling for his downfall are the right thing to be doing.

Told you it was a controversial one this week.    What do you think?

PS, talking of #, if you are over on Twitter do look at #PutYourBatsOut .    Thousands of photographs of people putting their cricket bats out in support of Philip Hughes.  Even Google Australia have changed their home page and added a drawing of bats.

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  • That is a really interesting way of looking at it. Im not a fan of his either but i wouldn’t want his job and whoever is in the job will come under fire in some way or other. I think the power of Social Media in general is a funny thing, suddenly we think that we can say things that we would never usually say. Suddenly it has become acceptable to abuse people online, to bully people, to complain about things and I agree with you that it isn’t right at all. If we had to vote via Social Media, god knows what the outcome would be.

  • I’m not a fan of negative campaigning in general. There are plenty of good reasons not to vote Conservative in the General Election but instead of this personal bitching, I’d rather see Labour (or other party of your choice) filling Twitter with how they’d do it differently. Unfortunately this dumbing down of politics means I don’t really know what any party stands for.

  • I am glad someone voiced similar thoughts to me. I am not a fan of his. I think the bulk of his policies are awful and I do feel they are almost a personal attack on my because they affect me. That said, I also dislike that #CameronMustGo has been so popular. I am all for people voicing their opinions but it does make me feel uncomfortable. I don’t know anyone who would actually want his job no matter how much money it is paid and (I expect this will be controversial) I don’t actually think that a PM salary is that great considering the job they have.

  • Interesting however I have to disagree with you. One of the big problems we have now is that people feel sidelined, ignored and disenfranchised. Ordinary people’s voices are drowned out by the increasing right wing media and those particularly affected by the coalition policies – the poor, the disabled and immigrants find themselves vilified and attacked. The lies that are perpetuated are sickening and social media is giving people a voice. If you read some of the stories on the hashtag, they’re pretty heartbreaking. I doubt if Cameron reads them, I doubt if he cares. I don’t believe that he is a conviction politician, the lies that he personally has told in parliament make that abundantly clear. I don’t think that #CameronMustGo is bullying, I think that it is a desperate plea that we all ignore at our peril. MLK said that a riot is the language of the unheard.

    • I am all for giving people a voice on social media and I agree, I think Tory policies are damaging. I would prefer it be #ToriesMustGo if it has to be anything. Not done on a personal level, that’s all. And I don’t think riots are the answer either since it is the innocent that suffer the most. Look at the shop keepers in London that lost businesses and income when the London riots happened. I really don’t think they are the answer. I don’t know what is it but I truly don’t think it is this

  • Brilkiant post. That tweet from that girl (Jack Monroe?) was HORRIBLE about how he was using his dead son to get more sympathy. What a really awful thing to say about someone’s child that has passed away. Horrid mob mentality.

  • Okay, here goes. Without getting political, or using anybody as an example, I love that Twitter is actually a tool for holding people/governments/countries to account. So many very important investigations have come about because people began to question it on Twitter and it became a very loud noise, which could not be ignored. Without Twitter outrage, we would never have found out the true extend of what happened in Rotherham, MP’s wouldn’t resign who’ve done wrong. Being ex-press I saw first hand how important subjects could be buried. David Cameron and others like him, elect to make themselves a ‘public figure’ they have thick skin & if they are really clever, they’ll learn from this type of debate.

    Personally, I think before too long, we will see the beginning of direct democracy, because of platforms like Twitter.

    • I don’t disagree with you. And god knows we need to find out about atrocities like Rotherham. And news as it happens from Syria, Iraq, wherever and give those people a voice. I am huge supporter of Twitter and it being a platform for those to get their voices heard. I would just rather the # be #ToriesMustGo I guess, and not Cameron. With Cameron out the party politics will still be same, and so I think, what I am saying badly, is that we need it to be about the party, not the man.

  • i completely agree with you! The majority of people voted for him and his parties politics – if you don’t like it vote with your feet and choose a party whose politics you support.
    I think he was always going to have a tough job steering the country out of the terrible situation he inherited from years gone by. One things for sure – I would HATE his job!

  • I love you – you know that right? OK so here goes.

    I have to disagree completely. He has a lot to answer for – and sorry but if you put yourself forward for the top job, you have to expect to take the flack! People feel cut off from the seat of power, no one listens to them and they feel that what they want or need is ignored. So people take to what ever method they can to get themselves heard. We need more political engagement in this country, we need everyone to turn out and vote & maybe just maybe this sort of social media, will encourage people to get to the polling station, to get involved and make the changes we so desperately need! He is personally responsible for a lot of crap and he needs to understand just how angry people are and there is a lack of confidence in his leadership.

    But like I said – I love ya! x x x x

    • *rips up Christmas card that was en route to Essex *
      I am kidding. I hear you. I love you more. I just wish that it wasn’t so personal. He is, after all, doing what he believes in and if it were any other person in a position of power I don’t think this would be happening. But I agree with the sentiment of political engagement. It was apathy that got him in, people couldn’t be arsed to vote in order to keep him out and that is no way to win an election.

  • I have to say I completely agree. Whether you like or loathe David Cameron he is doing ‘a job.’ If he’s not doing it right then the next polls should speak for themselves. But their will always be a much more negative vibe on social media as no one will ever write anything positive about a politician. It’s a job I’d hate to do, if he thinks he’s doing it right then that’s his job. It’s not mine. Mine to to vote who I think is the best candidate for the job.

  • Erm. No. I don’t agree. Not even a little bit.

    I think one of the unfortunate side-effects of the sentimalisation (made-up word, probably) of media and social media in recent years is that the act of expressing a negative opinion or disagreement, is conflated with bullying. Actually, bullying is defined as a sustained personal attack. That’s not what’s happening here.

    People aren’t attacking the bloke personally. They’re attacking his professional performance.

    Let’s not forget that being an MP and PM is a job that Cameron campaigned for over many years. He actively recruited citizens to campaign on his behalf. He campaigned himself for public votes – a public expression of support for his professional capabilities.

    Logically, if someone campaigns, solicits others to campaign on their behalf and asks for public words and acts of support to get INTO a job, then that same public has a perfect right to express just as vocally the opinion that he should get OUT of the job.

    Should people physically assault politicians? No. Should they attack their family, verbally or otherwise? Of course not. But do we live in a country where the right to free speech and political demonstration is still open to us? I bloody hope so. It’s simple democracy in action, and I dread to think of a world that operated any other way.

  • Ooh, you are GOOD at this, T. Loved how you took a different look at it. I thought it was going to be a post about the whole Jack-Monroe-tweet-row thing but actually you raised the far more important point that to bring about a change, we have to engage with politics and #vote

  • What an interesting theme!
    Let me declare now that I’m right of centre [Surprise? – of course not]

    One of MY principles is that if I have toothache I don’t go to a plumber!
    We sometimes try DIY but are we making a rational choice?

    Apart from highly technical jobs like carpentry, plumbing or electric wiring we ALL
    know that WE can do the job as well as, if not BETTER than the experts.
    When it comes to politics – international, national, county or local – the same views
    obtain. We elect often unsuitable people to control the spending of OUR money on
    ideas and projects with some of which we profoundly disagree and grumble
    loudly when services WE have paid for fall short of our expectations. We still do it
    even though we know it’s a waste of time.

    We forget all the things which our elected”servants” get right and are
    performed quietly and calmly – We don’t notice those ideas!

    I submit that ANY Government will –
    GET THINGS WRONG OCCASIONALLY [The Press rejoice and we notice]
    GET MOST THINGS OK/ACCEPTABLE [Press silent/mute]
    GET A FEW THINGS FANTASTICALLY RIGHT [Press coverage on page 23]

    When it came to office Government had to set priorities. I think they chose
    correctly and the performance of the UK economy compared with other EU countries
    reflects this. HMG induced this through its policies, some of which are not
    universally popular but the benefits are slowly – very slowly – appearing.
    Let those who have started the process, and had the guts to take difficult
    decisions, complete the task.

  • Well done T, Ranty Friday rides again. Great theme and a good take on an important issue.
    Whilst I’m an unapologetic Tory, I am not a huge fan of everything that Cameron has done, or is doing. He’s actually a disappointment. But, is the Twitter storm valid?
    I suspect that behind this campaign are the adept fingers of David Axelrod (who he?) the Obama social media guru from the USA who was recruited by Labour to fight the Tories. And he has succeeded in getting the topic to trend on Twitter by attacking Cameron personally and mentioning his dead son. I suspect that the #Cameronmustgo campaign is well funded and organised, so it is likely to continue to trend.
    Having said all that, the latest Polls say that Labour are in the lead to form the next Government but Cameron will be the best Prime Minister. Go figure! So I will start a new campaign #ABM; Anyone but Miliband. We do have to balance the books one day.

  • Anyone going into politics should probably expect a degree of criticism and discussion about their policies, their personality and about their actions, whether it’s in Private Eye, Twitter, or anywhere else. That said, bullying is never acceptable – against the person or against their family. People are using the #CameronMustGo campaign to express their frustration with policies, hardships, and reneged promises. We should be grateful that we live in a country where we are able to do this freely. However, while I am heartened to see such political enthusiasm, it will be effective only if people convert this activity into actually going to vote on polling day next year. I’m appalled at the apathy of low turnout – the only way to effect change (without revolution, of course!) is to vote, and to vote for the candidate you believe in, rather than all this tactical voting that contributed to this muddle of a current government. x

  • I read your post and felt that I had constructed a very sensible answer – and then I’ve read the rest of the comments and feel a bit insignificant but here goes.

    For me, voting is about placing your cross in a box (be it on paper or digitally) showing your choice of answer to a question – whether it’s political or otherwise.

    The processes you use to get to that cross in the box are up to you – whether it’s where the pencil lands that morning or after months of research – and what media (printed, digital, social or ???) you use to do this ‘research’ is up to you.

    If a voter feels able to vote based on a hashtag on Twitter – that is their choice. Personally I don’t think that following Twitter trends equals an informed decision on who to vote for (or indeed make any other decisions) but if following those trends leads to more people engaging, finding out more to make their decisions and ultimately getting to the polling stations – I guess it has it’s place.

  • I had a reply.

    I had something detailing how utterly unsuitable that idiot Cameron is to be our representative on the world stage, a man so inept that he was special advisor to the Treasury for perhaps the shortest spell in history – “his skills lie elsewhere”; how he’d be much better doing “public relations” and presenting the facts in a skew way so we all buy them in whatever litt…anyway.

    I don’t care about him. I get annoyed about how he lies to the public, protected by the fact that Parliamentarians can’t call each other liars, but I don’t care about him as a person. I might care more about him if he wasn’t in office, but I can’t divorce the oily toad from the person at the moment.

    I felt more touched by the plight of Phil Hughes, someone who in the past I would have disparaged when they played badly. I might have done, anyway, feeling secure in the fact that it was just sport, it was banter, that it was in some way a compliment to be barracked by the crowd. It showed you were a good player.

    I’m just glad (in a strange way) that he never had to grow old or bitter, he will always be the cricketer who never got old, who was on the way back.

    I played a bit of cricket. A lot of hockey, but only a bit of cricket. Hockey I loved for lots of reasons. Some I can share, some not yet.

    I found the tension of cricket too much. The waiting at the crease, having to stay still, just waiting. I don’t know how anyone can do it to any level.

    The idea that you can wait, ready to act, tense, and then die…..it almost beggars belief. And the thing is, the bowler is good, perhaps he could have been exceptional (it’s unlikely he will be as quick again) but deep down he probably wasn’t “having a worldy”. He’s just a normal young quick bowler.

    There’s little to suggest that this wasn’t just an everyday incident, just the particular seam (maybe) on that particular ball (maybe) off that bit of the pitch (maybe) on that day.

    …………..which means it could have been any bowler, and any batsman, on any ground, anywhere in the world.

    I have digressed.

    I think Twitter is about popular voices.

    I can’t say whether the campaign was orchestrated/organised/funded, but I know I didn’t receive any reward for my tweets, nor did I write them in expectation of any.

    I think Cameron is supremely unqualified to lead this, or any other, country. I think he has pursued a raft of policies more suited to a landslide victory (that would at least give him a claim to have received a mandate, which he did not) when in fact he has a shoddy government built with politicians more used to sniping from Opposition than actually governing, more used to saying “it wasn’t me, it was them who did it” than actually doing things.

    For how long will this Government be allowed to say “look at the mess we inherited” while the debt is rising, while the sick and unemployed die and kill themselves and the unemployment numbers look good.

    They only look good because they’ve been presented to us the facts in a skew way so we all buy them without question.

    What’s the old saying> If you repeat a lie often enough, people believe it?

    Well the Tories have been saying for so long that the BBC is a left-wing organisation, even the BBC believes it now. The actual representation of left vs right politicians on news and current affairs programmes makes intersting reading.

    You might like to consider this article in the communist publication, The New Statesman: http://www.newstatesman.com/broadcast/2013/08/hard-evidence-how-biased-bbc

    But let’s not look at the facts – the spin is SO much better.

    His policies have been designed to diminish the lot of the lower levels of society while “encouraging business”*and for that, he should lose his job.

    I really do not believe that he or his cabal are the right people to lead this country. While he leads the cabal, the only way to get rid of them is to get rid of him.

    I’m sorry this rambles. I ramble, but I hope you can find one or two threads that you might find amusing/interesting/not completely run of the mill.

    Short version:
    Three Camerons not worth 1 cricketer.
    Cameron should go back to PR.

  • My difficulty with all of this is that anyone who finds themselves in Cameron’s position is likely to be supremely unqualified. Maybe he should go, but who will the replacement be? The days of an MP/party leader who was selected to stand after a few years of doing a proper job (and PR doesn’t count) seem to be gone. Our Parliamentary representatives, regardless of party, seem to be private school educated, Oxbridge graduates who have arrived on our ballot paper after working as an unpaid intern for another MP, living in London on no pay and therefore, presumably, bankrolled by Mum and Dad. I don’t therefore expect anyone in Government to understand what it’s like to do a normal job and try to live somewhere that their kids can go to a decent state school.

    I wouldn’t want his job and feel uncomfortable with the personal attacks, but think the system needs to change.