Clare Curran is the Labour MP for Dunedin South. She is also spokesperson for Communications and IT, Regional and Economic Development, Civil Defence and Emergency Services, and Open Government. Clare has, and I assume continues to, played a key role in Red Alert. (I am happy to be corrected on her current level of involvement in Red Alert.)
Red Alert is the Labour Party MPs blog. It appears to have become a lot less active lately. With the last post, by Rajen Prasad, is nothing more than a posting of a media release, with the Media Advisory label still at the top. In February there appears to only have been 7 posts on Red Alert, with 8 in January. The same rule applies to blogs as to other forms of unmediated media, if you are going to have one, make sure it is active.
Clare Curran is highly active on twitter. She has just over 4600 followers and has sent over 21 thousand tweets. This is not that unexpected, since she comes from a communications and technology back ground. However, what is unexpected is that Clare has a rather confrontational and forceful approach to her tweets. However, it must be said, she is very good at replying to tweets and will engage in debates on twitter.
Clare seems to send a lot of negative tweets. When stories are only just breaking, she sends a tweet that attempts to spin the story in a way that she says as most likely to benefit the Labour party, even when the details are still not known. This is best shown by the following tweet. While the details were still rolling in, Clare jumped in with the assumption that A) the locomotive was one of the Chinese made ones. B) that the locomotive was somehow responsible for the derailing.
It is not just jumping to conclusions that could present an issue for Clare. During a Member’s Day in Parliament Clare attacked National MPs for using a tactic that the Labour part used to try and prevent the passing of VSM a few years ago.
There is a word starting with H that is not allowed to be used in the House that could be used to describe Clare’s tweets around this, but I will refrain from using it.
Clare also seems to be very passionate about defending TVNZ against the accusations of a deep seated left wing bias. Considering there are rumours circulating of another TVNZ current affairs and news reporter looking at standing for the Labour party. There is a history of people leaving TVNZ to go and either work or run for the Labour party. Therefore Clare, and other Labour MPs, need to be careful about the views they share in public before the full details are known about the extent of Labour infiltration at TVNZ.
Having looked at MPs like Scott Simpson and Peter Dunne, one thing that I found missing from Clare’s twitter feed was positive retweets about businesses and events happening in her electorate. She has a large following on twitter and could put this to good use promoting her electorate. By all accounts Clare is a very good local MP, but her persona on twitter comes across as rather negative/confrontational. She is very passionate about Dunedin and it would be good if we could see a bit more of that in her twitter feed.