Twitter: A New Political Revolution

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number10-gov-uk1

The nation watched with baited breath today, as Tony Blair took the stand in his own defence of the Iraq invasion. Whilst the merits of his support for the war are sure to be relentlessly questioned and harshly criticised over the next few days, the facts revealed in the Chilcot inquiry are likely to be already widely known. The Iraq war was the most closely covered episode of Tony Blair’s Prime Ministerial career, which got us Peppermints thinking about the impact of the internet on political reporting.

The age of the Internet has changed forever the nature of governance. Even on the eve of the Iraq invasion, back in 2003, the public was able to follow every decision and development, in as close to real-time as had ever been possible before. Today, the intensity of coverage is even stronger, with Number 10 posting policy updates, as they happen, across its Twitter platform.

For those employed to PR the actions of governments and politicians, this has been invaluable. It allows them to reach out to sections of society commonly less inclined to involve themselves in the political process. It allows minute-by-minute trumpeting of good policies and defence of bad ones. And most importantly, it prompts and facilitates discussion. People no longer have to have read today’s newspaper to be up-to-date on the latest policy decisions; just pop onto your Twitter page and find out how it affects you!

Discussion, transparency, information and inclusion are buzzwords on every party’s manifesto; they’re all invaluable in the promotion of democracy and good government. No wonder, then, that social media now plays such a key part in that promotion.