Labour leader Ed Miliband hit by Twitter trending storm
Labour leader Ed Miliband has been having a terrible week. First, he was under assault from his former advisor policy guru Lord Glasman earlier week who said his leadership has “no strategy, no narrative and little energy”. Further pressure came today from Labour Shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, who said that Labour should not simply oppose all government spending cuts.
Now Ed Miliband is trending twice on Twitter after a gaffe in a tweet was seized upon by and set the Twitterverse alight. The Labour leader tweeted his sadness at the passing of 80s gameshow host Bob Holness who presented ‘Blockbusters’ although his tweet include a crucial mistake and highly embarrassing mistake.
Miliband tweeted that it was sad to hear that “Bob Holness has died. A generation will remember him fondly from Blackbusters”.
Blackbusters and Blockbusters are just a letter apart, but a world away in terms of PR and spin. The spin here is all in the wrong direction.
It was surely a typo (if done on a phone, but on a keyboard? the ‘A’ and the ‘O’ keys are miles apart), but the use of the word “black” comes in a week where Ed Miliband has had to deal with a race row ignited by MP, and shadow minister, Diane Abbott. The Labour leader is thought to have given Abbott a severe dressing down on the phone during a Sky News TV interview after her race row tweet, which accused whites of divide and rule tactics. Abbott has apologised, but the scandal will not go away. Miliband has given it a squirt of petrol.
The Holness tweet was seized upon by Twitter users as thousands tweeted humorous and cutting tweets under the #blackbusters hashtag.
This led to a second hashtag to trend, spinning off from the first, as #edmilibandgameshows was launched as many more came up with variations of gameshows such as “Celebrity Big Brother #edmilibandgameshows” and “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue #edmilibandgameshows”.
The Twitter storm will be over by this evening but the PR damage will pile more pressure on Miliband’s struggling leadership.