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It’s often been a theme of this blog, when it’s dealing with politics or other stuff, to speculate that Beeston is the centre of the known universe. It’s a bit of a thesis I best not explain now less I crowd out Chris Tregenza’s fantastic overview of our candidates Twitter output, (below), but if you see me in the pub I’ll probably freely express it around the 2.7 pint mark; I guarantee you’ll be like most people by the end and so impressed you forever give up talking to strange men in the pub and are so in awe you cross the street when you see me approaching / pretend not to speak English when I say hello.
Brevity being the soul of wit – BBTSOW, for short – the idea is that Beeston is so fascinating as it so easily acts as a a microcosm for the UK. In this instance, politics, and to repeat a phrase I’ve heard with increasingly frequency since 2016, how ‘utterly fucked up’ it is. We have Lib Dems supporting Greens, Greens supporting Labour, (ex) Labour supporting Soubry, Tories supporting Brexit, and so much weirdness I can’t help feeling that rather than a General Election we’re at some seedy seventies suburban wife-swapping party. We even have a candidate who has been on Wife Swap. If, at a hustings, you’re invited to throw your car-keys onto a coffee table, just run.
More bits, including how a Beestonian Nursery owner had the Prime Minister so flustered he forgot how many kids he has, after our look at the candidate Twitter accounts you should be following. Lord Beestonia.
Some people think this election will be won on the doorstep but they are idiots. The real battleground is on Twitter. One week in, how are the candidates doing? (Banner images candidate’s own)
Anna Soubry (@Anna_Soubry)
Independent Group for Changing Your Party Name
With over 198,000 followers, Anna dwarfs the other candidates but they shouldn’t be worried. Most of her followers are Russian bots posting death threats on everything she posts. (This is only a slight exaggeration). Plus, Anna’s complete lack of design awareness means her header photo is so bad she cuts off part of her own face and her avatar is a nondescript splodge of pixels.
However, her actual tweets are not the normal fatuous MP posts. She uses the account well to promote allies in various parties and to show solidarity with other MPs and candidates being targeted with abuse.
Greg Marshal (@Greg4Broxtowe)
Labour & Please Don’t Ask Me About Our Brexit Policy Party
Trailing Soubry by some way with just 3,000 followers, Greg’s account is as dull as you would expect from a Corbyn loyalist. A steady stream of retweets from official Labour interspaced with pictures of Greg campaigning around Broxtowe.
Greg has at least learnt to make header and avatar images which, though unimaginative, are at least recognisable.
Kat Boettge (@KatBoettge)
The Green But Unelectable Party
With a healthy 2051 followers and a well designed header / avatar, Kat should be queen of Broxtowe Twitter but there is a suspicious gap in her tweets. Between the end of the European elections (where she was a candidate) and the last few days, there was not one tweet. It’s almost as if she only uses Twitter as a campaign tool and not the essential part of life we all know it is.
Darren Henry (@VoteDarrenHenry)
Conservative & Not Very Unionist Anymore Party
Darren has 1700 followers but most of them are from Wiltshire, Chester and other places he has stood for election and lost. His Twitter feed is so dull and predictable that it makes Greg Marshal look interesting. The only notable tweet is one where he comments he had an enjoyable afternoon in Stapleford – something no one has said before. (Why is Esther McVey lamping him under the chin???- Ed)
The Militant Elvis Anti HS2 PartyThe only serious candidate in the running, Dave is woefully far behind the other candidates in followers which shows how insane British politics has become. His latest policy announcement – “Free neutering for stray cats and Boris Johnson” – deserves a much wider audience.
Yes, two far-right shitposters who we’ll probably mention at some point, but right now simply do not have the energy, physically or emotionally, to bother with.
Chris Tregenza doesn’t have a real job so spends his time on twitter as @Tregenza
You’d think that Boris Johnson’s unfortunate habit of indiscriminate inseminating would lead to a deep familiarity with nurseries.
Alas, of course not. Just as Jacob Rees Mogg professed to never changing any of his own children’s nappies (his aversion to the nanny state not something he likes to take home after a day handling less allegorical piles of shit); Johnson is not exactly a hands on dad. A day after appearing to have no idea what the lyrics of Wheels on the Bus were he rocked up blathering onto a live BBC TV and Radio link-up not knowing owt about nurseries either.
Step forward today’s hero: Roopam from Beeston Nursery.
I’ll declare a conflict of interest: my toddler son goes to the nursery and I’ve long been a fan of the place and the way it’s ran; not least the work Roopam does to make it a fantastic environment for developing tots. She’s a passionate, dedicated advocate of giving kids the best start in life, and is so wholly devoted to ensuring that we do not neglect our young (I mean, they can’t vote, so you can see why they’re taken for granted) it is perhaps no surprise she decided to have a punt and ring in with the utterly outside chance of getting to speak to the PM.
Amazingly, she got through, and the result – well argued, well researched rational pleading vs blathering ill-informed word-salad. It’s here, about 44.5 mins in, and it’s quite something: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000c0t8/your-questions-answered-boris-johnson