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Generally Electing

Lewisham Polling Station

Like so many others, I stopped off to vote on the way in to work this morning. I had three separate ballot papers: for the national government, for the local council and for the local mayor. 
I was particularly pleased to be able to vote for local blogger Max Calo, who has done some great campaigning work in the area in recent years, and is standing for a council seat for the LibDems.
This has been the first general election of my adult life when the outcome feels very much in doubt. I’m looking forward to the counts and over-night coverage immensely. Are you?

UKiP, Community Care and Blog Comments

Ah, the social media world is full of chit-chat after the felling of a Labour parliamentary candidate by his own brazen stupidity and contempt for the electorate Twitter. 

But, here in sunny Sutton, we’ve been having a bit of social media fun with a prospective candidate ourselves. I have, on occasions and with tongue firmly in cheek, referred to the Outside Left blog run by Community Care as a “stalking horde to draw out the more extreme of the right wing”. That proved to be a remarkably prescient remark.
Last week, UKiP’s London chairman and prospective parliamentary candidate jumped into the comments section of a post, leaving this delightful material: 

You left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birthright to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us all under mediaeval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish (but you still want to apologize for!)

The team naturally enquired as to whether he was whom he said he was, and when it was clear that the comment was real, made a bit of a fuss, with predictable consequences:

UK Independence Party chief Paul Wiffen has been suspended following his racist rant on Community Care.

Oh, and the blogger, Mike McNabb, ended up on TV.

Wiffen has since been reinstated following an apology, which is informative in its own right…
Social media and politicians: a heady brew.
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