Tweedledum Meet Tweedledee

This is from Iain Dale’s blog:

The thing is, people actually elected this woman to represent them, yet she seems incapable of rational argument or debate. If you disagree with her she cries foul and accuses you of being nasty. And yet she doesn’t understand it’s her own brand of nastiness which causes people to react badly to her. From subsequent Twitters and emails I have received it seems I far from alone in being blocked by her.

Can you guess who he’s describing? To my mind, it sounds exactly like Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid-Narnia. What Iain describes here is exactly how Nadine acts on the internet. But Iain and Mad Nad are best buddies, so Iain would never criticise what Nadine does.

No, it’s not Nadine who Iain is describing, but Labour MP Kerry McCarthy. Kerry and Iain had a bit of a spat on Twitter yesterday. Kerry said some nasty things about Total Politics, the magazine that Iain publishes and sends free to every politician in the UK. Iain argued with her and Kerry blocked him.

I’m not really interested in the rights and wrongs of this debate. I don’t care whether Kerry was right or wrong to do what she did (I have my opinions, but they’re not germane to this point). What I do want to point out is the sheer audacity of Iain Dale in complaining about someone acting in a way that is identical to the way that one of his best political friends acts all of the time. And then in the comments, his readers compound his error by claiming that this kind of behaviour is somehow indicative of how left-wingers act on the internet.

Let’s get this straight. There are people who understand the internet and people who don’t understand the internet in all political parties. Being of one political persuasion or another doesn’t make you more or less likely to know how to use the internet effectively. All parties have people who use Twitter effectively and people who still think it’s a complete waste of time. The same is true of blogs (there are still only about fifty MPs who blog) and, astonishingly, email (there are still MPs who you can’t contact by email).

Trying to score political points like this is doomed to failure. It’s particularly stupid when, as in this case, a counterexample is so ridiculously obvious. I know that Iain isn’t the “blogging expert” that other people often mistake him for (he never corrects that mistake) but surely even he could see the huge flaw in this blog post.

I’m not, for a second, defending Kerry’s decision to block Iain. I’m just pointing out that he should have thought a little before publishing this blog post.

And only Mad Nad could do worse than Iain. Here’s her response to the situation.

I block people who are rude and offensive. kerry blocks people who are right.

No Nadine. You block people who are right. You block people who are trying to debate with you. You are scared of interacting with people who might disagree with you and who might have facts to back them up.

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