Twitter Conversation of the day 16 June: Idiot/Savant

Today’s Twitter conversation of the day is a bit one sided. But worth looking at.


First a bit of background. On Friday David Cunliffe was asked about the posibility of a Labour government contributing troops to any intervention in Iraq, following the recent successes of ISIS. His response didn’t really make a good impression on Idiot/Savant over at No Right Turn:

John Key hasn’t spoken up yet. As for David Cunliffe, he’s just been asked about it by Newstalk ZB’s Felix Marwick. His response is puremush:


He then followed up with this post on Saturday

24 hours later when he’s had time to run a focus group and do some polling, his position had changed completely:

If you read what David said on Friday, then what he said on Saturday, one must wonder what led to the change. The assumption that a focus group might be involved is fair.


However, the way Labour have responded to this is not great.


Now it is great that Labour are reading the blogs, and wanting to make sure they have accurate information. But the next tweet form Idiot/Savant changes the tone:

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It isn’t up to blogs to contact spin doctors before blogging. Many blogs are a combination of reporting what happened, with a good dose of opinion. It is a fair opinion that the change in stance, combined with the opinion, is indicative of something like a focus group.


Idiot/Savant goes on to state their view about what Labour did:

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It is up to Labour to have their processes streamlined enough, their leaders and MPs trained enough, that they don’t end up in the situation they have.


Good on Idiot/Savant for bringing this to the fore, and speaking freely about what happened.



Idiot/Savant, after prompting from Rob Salmond, has posted an exert of the email he received.

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Having read the exert of the email, my feeling is that in this case, both sides are right. Rob is reading the email in the tone he would have if he had sent it, most likely because he knows the person who sent it and how they would approach the issue. While I/S is reading it as any blogger would, in a negative way, as an attempt to influence them, or control them. This is a warning of how written communications lack tone, which can really change the way people read meaning.