Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Labour Just Don't Get It

Another week, another Labour online balls-up. This time the medium was twitter – the new(ish) microblogging site that is quickly taking over the world. This article in the Western Mail exposed a couple of posts by David Taylor, aide to Leighton Andrews (that one time leadership contender- apparently).

Mr Taylor - a Man Utd fan - thought it would be a good idea to indulge in some “run-of -the-mill” banter on his Twitter page over the Hillsborough disaster, where 96 people (mainly Liverpool fans) died. He has since apologised for his comments but I think it’s safe to say that the damage has been done. Some of it may be fairly innocuous but what tipped the scales was a reference to a song entitled “You’ll never walk again” which, given the proximity to the anniversary of Hillsborough, has been widely seen as insensitive.

Does this incident show that Welsh Labour just hasn’t got its head around this internet business? It is not just something that the cool kids do: anyone and everyone can access stuff on the internet. If you write something (or post a video) someone will see it, and if you write stuff like David Taylor did then someone will get offended by it. And given that he works for the government it’s not a good idea to offend (or post something which could even remotely offend) sections of the electorate.

Welsh Labour needs to start taking the internet seriously. The digital revolution is here to stay so they had better buck up their ideas or they will be even further behind in the online battle come election time.

Dewi Un

Image used courtesy of splat @ Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/splat/1552326411/



Anonymous said...

I dislike Labour intensely....but this is absolute Ballocks.

Dave said...

couldn't agree more

Heledd said...

I'm sorry but i think the premise of the post is spot on, Labour can't get things right. This man is privileged to work for Government and should therefore not poke fun at other people's grief.

Dave said...


He wasn't poking fun at people's grief. He was repeating a Man Utd chant that has been around since the 70's, a decade before Hillsborough. He may be accused of being insensitive to use that chant on twitter but it was in no way a deliberate attempt to poke fun at the victims of a tragic disaster.

Don't believe the spin.

Anonymous said...

Dewi Un is right. Posting "You'll never walk again" is asking for trouble no matter what the context. It shows incredible lack of judgement for someone who does PR for a living.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

"Welsh Labour needs to start taking the internet seriously. The digital revolution is here to stay so they had better buck up their ideas or they will be even further behind in the online battle come election time."

A number of things here.

Firstly, the taylor story was pathetic, absolute tosh. To use this as ‘proof’ of anything is laughable.

Secondly, moves are afoot to have a decent response by Welsh Labour. Whatever you think of Aneurin Glyndwr, it is shaping out into a valuable political website in attacking other parties. It hits are far more than the Plaid attack blogs…

I am currently involved in something which should, I hope, be a worthwhile contribution to it.

Anonymous said...

The comment was terrible in the scheme of the events that happened 20 years ago today. I hardly think DT can complain the press went after him given his track record in smearing others. Week by week David Taylor makes a fool of his boss and his party. I can't believe he still has a job

Also AG certainly is a valuable political website. For the Tories and Plaid.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the unfortunate plague of public incompetence suffered by the labour party is impressive but its clearly not universal. Many have still got their heads down and are focused on making the best of likely UK National defeat at the next general election by still winning more Welsh seats than anyone else

Isn't it time to get a sweep stake together for the so far lacklusture Labour assembly Leader/ First minister election?
My money's on Edwina as Carwyn doesn't act like he wants it any more.