Political Week on Twitter: April 7th – 13th
Ken's crying and the coalition's snooping take on a Labour election row and the charities row in this week's overview of the twitterati.
Compiled by Alex Stevenson Follow @alex__stevenson
We begin with the coalition's proposals to extend the surveillance of internet communications – email, social media and the like – to bolster its anti-terror capabilities. Not a popular idea, that's for sure, as the twitterati made clear this week.
The government want to see who we call, text & email without a warrant. Please sign the petition if you don't like it. ow.ly/aeYEf
— PenParkerWrites (@PenelopePParker) April 13, 2012
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.George Orwell. #TellDaveEverything
— sean(@sdbast) April 11, 2012
This week Nick Clegg tried to take the credit for the government's retreat on the issue – the coalition is now only going to propose draft legislation to this end. But David Cameron wasn't having any of it, pointing out Clegg had approved the plans at a meeting of the national security council.
National Security Council decided on the snooping state policy? Who voted for them? Aren't they chaired by a failed ex-head of UKREP?
— Douglas Carswell MP (@DouglasCarswell) April 10, 2012
Clegg denies endorsing Coalition's 'snooping' plans – only agreed that the Gov would "look at proposals", apparently soc.li/O5fiCUj
— Benedict Brogan (@benedictbrogan) April 10, 2012
Cameron's succeeded in putting knackered looking Clegg on the backfoot over snooping.
— James Macintyre (@James_Macintyre) April 11, 2012
Budget 2012 continued to unravel this week. First the grannies, then pasties, and now charity donations were facing a torrent of criticism. George Osborne wants to impose a cap on tax relief for individuals' donations of £25,000 or 25% of their income. The opposition had a field day.
Gareth Thomas: “Baffling that the Tory-led Government chose to justify a tax cut for millionaires by ending tax relief for charities”
— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) April 8, 2012
The Treasury's bigger concern was the opposition of many Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs, however, as debate over Osborne's approach raged.
@Sartorial_swash Close loopholes & bogus charities, yes, but not the entire sector. Unmodified, this policy will hammer good orgs.
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) April 10, 2012
£ gained by public sector only lost to charity if rich donors really stop giving to good causes because they've lost tax break. #newsnight
— Martin Horwood (@MartinChelt) April 12, 2012
I'm getting pretty bored of the 'charity backlash' argument that giving a bob to charity makes any tax avoidance OK ht.ly/afFX2
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) April 13, 2012
Removing tax relief for #charity payments is absurd. Are you trying to indirectly tax bankers (easily the most charitable by volume) again?
— Tristan (@Chipster_22) April 13, 2012
Labour's by-election problem (it can't afford any) got more acute this week, as it emerged it was having to consider barring sitting MPs from standing for the mayoral or police commissioner elections coming up later this year. In Birmingham, where MPs Liam Byrne and Gisela Stuart want to challenge Sion Simon (who stood down in 2010 for the purpose) tensions were steadily increasing.
Amazing how active all these new Birmingham mayor wannabes suddenly are on the social web innit. Where we're they a year ago?
— Jon Bounds (@bounder) April 10, 2012
Jonathan Freedland says voting for elected Mayor in Birmingham will give one leader even more power than in London. Like that's good news
— Kevin Blowe (@copwatcher) April 8, 2012
Love the story about Labour banning MPs from standing for Mayoralties because they've run out of byelection cash. How would they enforce it?
— tomdaylight (@tomdaylight) April 9, 2012
Its now too late to bar sitting MPs from being Labour Mayoral candidates birminghampost.net/comment/birmin…
— siôn simon (@sionsimon) April 12, 2012
Mayors: Harriet Breaks Silence: I have now spoken at some length to Harriet Harman about claims that the party h… bit.ly/IFJI8D
— SkyNewsBoulton (@SkyNewsBoulton) April 12, 2012
BORIS V KEN
One mayoral clash in its more advanced stages this week was, of course, the London rematch between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.
Despite Labour continuing their risky offensive over Boris' tax arrangements, the incumbent appeared to be leading the race in the polls.
Update to the ComRes figures – second round figures are actually Boris 53%, Ken 47% ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/…
— Anthony Wells (@anthonyjwells) April 10, 2012
It is not Boris Johnson's earnings that will prevent him becoming PM – it is because the British people will never elect another Old Etonian
— Tony Parsons (@TonyParsonsUK) April 7, 2012
After last week's swearathon from Boris, this week it was Ken's turn to let his emotions get the better of him. In a very different way though – he was overcame while watching his election broadcast at his manifesto launch.
— Lucien de la Peste (@hesspartacus) April 11, 2012
Ken Livingstone knows the nation loves sob stories after watching the X-Factor, so he is trying it too. 😛 tgr.ph/HC25rU
— Jai'me Jan (@jaimelondonboy) April 11, 2012
I think Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone are two of my favourite Peter Sellers characters.
— Chris Addison (@mrchrisaddison) April 12, 2012
— Nick de Bois MP (@nickdebois) April 13, 2012
LONDON BUS ADVERTS
The end of the week saw a major controversy develop out of the London campaign, when anti-gay adverts were blocked by Boris from appearing on buses in the capital. On Twitter, feelings were running high.
This would be outrageous were it not so funny. 'Post-gay'? "I am post-gay"…ey? Sounds like a queer theory book.pinknews.co.uk/2012/04/12/rel…
— Steve Akehurst (@SteveAkehurst) April 12, 2012
Ken Livingstone isn't reserved from scorn because he's done good work on LGBT rights in the past. Same applies to stonewall and Tatchell.
— Andy Emmerson (@AAEmmerson) April 13, 2012
— James Farrell (@jamesgfarrell) April 12, 2012
— Comment is free (@commentisfree) April 13, 2012
The whole bus ad thing deeply depressing. Christians "censored", Boris Johnson burnishes his gay-friendly credentials. Homophobes remain so.
— Helen Lewis (@helenlewis) April 12, 2012