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Cameron and tweeting ought to be natural fit

Posted on 25 January 2010 | 11:01am

So if he did tweet, how might David Cameron have summed up his press conference this morning? ‘nice easy questioning, avoided getting pinned down on tax rises/public spending, backtracked quite well on Edlington.’ That was my immediate offering. A quick ‘Cameron’ search on twitter suggests many alternatives.

He explained that one of the reasons he is resistant to joining the ranks of the twitterati is his evident concern that he would not be able to think through what he would say. That sounded very odd. As he said, as a top flight politician, he is constantly communicating in different ways, and thinking on his feet, so I found his lack of confidence about his own ability not to screw up in140 characters a tad alarming.

But then I wondered if perhaps this is his way of signalling that despite what most who were tweeting during the event seemed to think, he is actually a man of great substance, so great that it is impossible to reduce his great substantial thoughts and policies to 140 characters. ‘Cameron – too serious to tweet’. Try that one on the next airbrushed poster.

It may be that he thinks he cannot get his thoughts into short bitesizes, but in truth, as the press conference showed once more, he speaks a lot, yet says so little.

When the transcript comes to be typed up, there will be a lot of words down there, a lot of questions on a lot of subjects, but actually very little that couldn’t all be summed up in a tweet or two.

Fixed term parliaments? Good idea, er, but bad idea. Prison ships? Need more prison places. Not sure how to get them though. Marriage in the tax system? Sounds great, still no clearer how we do it. Deficit reduction = tax rises/spending cuts? Avoided Nick Robinson. Adam Boulton had a go. Avoided him, but they noticed. Managed to avoid without sounding like I was avoiding. Phew.

Best mid-event tweet in my eyes the one that asked ‘has Cameron just admitted to having long-standing credit card debts – these millionaires’.

  • Jackie O\’Hare

    Judging by the policy so far, he could launch his entire manifesto in a handful of tweets.

  • Charles Willis

    I watched on the BBC News Channel. Thought the journalists gave him a pretty easy time of it. He did not answer the hard questions on the economy. I also wanted someone to ask him about the comments of one of the mothers of the victims of the child brutality case, who said Cameron had been wrong to use their case for his attack on so called broken Britain.

  • Mark Mallon

    Cameron weak on substance. Watched Brown though and he was looking tired and energy-less

  • Mark \’Elvis\’ Wright

    Here’s where I think Cameron’s problem lies:

    When listening to him speak, about anything, I don’t what he’s in politics *for*.

    Blair had a clear message. And although his presentation is at times not as good (getting better though), so does Brown. Like them or loathe them most people know what they stood/stand for.

    My feeling of DC is that he’s spent so many years (yes it’s been that long) talking about ‘sunshine’ and ‘E=MC2’ that when it comes to the real debate he’ll be seen as reactionary in his views.

    The electorate like vision, not revision.

    Oh, and he speaks to everyone like they’re 5 years old.

  • Lewis Sidnick

    Whenever I read blogs from AC on David Cameron I wonder if he has cut and paste most of the text from articles written about Tony Blair in the mid 1990s? Especially the attacks on policy and substance. He should come up with some original thinking.

  • Colleen

    Cameron was given quite an easy time of it at his public meeting here in Harlow last year too: but that was because the public and media couldn’t help but warm to him.

    The Harlow Star’s (lib Dem) reporter admitted Cameron is impressive. That reporter took issue with Nick Robinson’s claim that the meeting was a Tory rentacrowd affair; numerous people from other parties attended the meeting who could have given Cameron a very hard time had they wanted to, the reporter wrote, yet they treated him with respect.

    Why? My guess is they were gobsmacked to see a party leader on the hustings, answering honest questions with honest answers, questions taken at random from any member of the public of any party, the way politicians used to, before Thatcher’s and Blair’s spin doctors began micro managing democracy out of UK politics.

    I stand corrected if I’m wrong, but when did Mr Blair or PM Brown ever do that, Alastair? Never, as far I can recall. When PM’s Blair and Brown came to Harlow, they came unannounced and they did not hold public meetings.

    Cameron respects the public and democracy. Unaccustomed as we are to such respect, we sort of warm to that, it reminds us of the old days.

  • Chris lancashire

    Whatever Cameron’s credit card debts are, they pale into insignificance with Brown’s – several trillion and counting, and no plan to pay it off.

  • Bernie

    Hahaha. The good old days of what? PR?

    Cameron IS the spin doctor. That is, Blair and Brown are politicians, the former with spin doctor aides.

    Cameron doesn’t need that. Because he IS the spin doctor.

    That’s all he has and ever will be.

    That’s the difference. And if one wants spin THAT much that you’re willing to vote a spin doctor into the PM job then it just shows how trite your view of life, the universe and everything in it, is.

    Sure, one needs to understand the media a lot better than Brown seems willing to, but I don’t believe I’m alone in wanting someone a lot less ‘lightweight’ than Dave BlueBlood to actually make the decisions that matter.