Cameron prepares to join Twitter

Despite once declaring that "too many twits make a twat", the PM will reportedly be joining the site.

Despite his memorable declaration that "too many twits (sic) might make a twat" (a line most recently used to scold Tory MP Aidan Burley), David Cameron is reportedly poised to join Twitter. In today's Telegraph, Benedict Brogan writes:

There was a time when David Cameron thought Twitter was for t—s, but that was before the social media network became a turbo-charged means of shaping public and media opinion. Now it turns out that Twitter is for him, and Downing Street will shortly be introducing @DavidCameronLeader, or something similar, which will bring us the daily thoughts of the Prime Minister. The official No 10 account, which pumps out Government news and details of what Mr Cameron is up to, has more than two million subscribers, but cannot be used to make political points. The PM’s advisers, who are frustrated by hostility in the media and indifference among broadcasters, say Twitter will allow him to reach voters directly with his version of the Government’s successes and failures.

The entire media has just set its collective watch in anticipation of the moment the PM fulfils his own prophecy and becomes, yes, "a twat".


David Cameron will reportedly join Twitter "to reach voters directly". Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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PMQs review: Theresa May shows again that Brexit means hard Brexit

The Prime Minister's promise of "an end to free movement" is incompatible with single market membership. 

Theresa May, it is commonly said, has told us nothing about Brexit. At today's PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn ran with this line, demanding that May offer "some clarity". In response, as she has before, May stated what has become her defining aim: "an end to free movement". This vow makes a "hard Brexit" (or "chaotic Brexit" as Corbyn called it) all but inevitable. The EU regards the "four freedoms" (goods, capital, services and people) as indivisible and will not grant the UK an exemption. The risk of empowering eurosceptics elsewhere is too great. Only at the cost of leaving the single market will the UK regain control of immigration.

May sought to open up a dividing line by declaring that "the Labour Party wants to continue with free movement" (it has refused to rule out its continuation). "I want to deliver on the will of the British people, he is trying to frustrate the British people," she said. The problem is determining what the people's will is. Though polls show voters want control of free movement, they also show they want to maintain single market membership. It is not only Boris Johnson who is pro-having cake and pro-eating it. 

Corbyn later revealed that he had been "consulting the great philosophers" as to the meaning of Brexit (a possible explanation for the non-mention of Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith's resignation and May's Goldman Sachs speech). "All I can come up with is Baldrick, who says our cunning plan is to have no plan," he quipped. Without missing a beat, May replied: "I'm interested that [he] chose Baldrick, of course the actor playing Baldrick was a member of the Labour Party, as I recall." (Tony Robinson, a Corbyn critic ("crap leader"), later tweeted that he still is one). "We're going to deliver the best possible deal in goods and services and we're going to deliver an end to free movement," May continued. The problem for her is that the latter aim means that the "best possible deal" may be a long way from the best. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.