In Defence of Liberty

Driven by data; ridden with liberty.

A Brief Note on Twitter

Twitter is not a great place to discuss the EU. (Edited: rockcohen)

Twitter is not a great place to discuss the EU. (Edited: rockcohen)

Twitter is a popular political platform, but its post limit of 140 characters means simplification and sensationalism are encouraged.

The longest and most arduous discussions I had on Twitter was with a UKIP supporter named Richard King, back in December 2013.

It began when I suggested Mr King’s post – which showed a slaughterhouse bearing European Union flags – was paranoid, to which I received the hilarious response:

It’s not paranoia. The EU really are out to get us + destroy our British national sovereignty + make all our laws.

Sovereignty

Over the course of three days, I endured and discussed Mr King’s assertions about the EU.

There were some highlights. I particularly enjoyed this exchange:

AM: As I said, signing a treaty does not abolish sovereignty.

RK: True, it doesn’t abolish sovereignty ‘cos we can always LEAVE THE EU but whilst we stay in WE MUST OBEY THEIR EU LAWS.

AM: That’s how a treaty works.

Another highlight was when Mr King said – within seven minutes between posts – that GDP was not a relevant indicator, and then British should leave the EU because it would bolster British GDP.

Finchley & Golders Green

It turns out that Mr King was not simply a campaigner for UKIP, but became the UKIP parliamentary candidate for Finchley & Golders Green [1]. It turns out that Mr King did not do so well.

Mr King did not succeed on the basis of wider UKIP support. (Visualisation: Tableau)

Mr King did not succeed on the basis of wider UKIP support. (Visualisation: Tableau)

I sincerely hope that the upcoming referendum on British membership of the European Union allows for a considered and intellectual debate. The referendum should be a detailed investigation of public policy.

References

[1] BBC, 2015. Finchley & Golders Green. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000703 [Accessed: 3rd July 2015]

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2015 by in National Politics and tagged , , .
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