Tagged: general Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Paul Hurst 8:02 pm on April 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ben, butterworth, , general, heckle, heckled, lesbian, , news, politicians, politics, prime   

    What makes a good ‘Heckle’? 

    It had to happen.  It wasn’t a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’. The General Election campaign was barely 24 hours old before @benbutterworth accosted Gordon Brown en-route from ‘keeping in touch with the electorate’ and getting into his no-doubt bulletproof Jag, but what makes a good heckle?

    Mr Butterworth’s beef was with the fact that he has been unable to get his eldest child into the state school of their choosing and as this footage shows, he didn’t shy away from giving the PM a piece of his mind. “Gordon! I thought you wanted to talk to the public” was the statement that could of easily doubled as a question and as the Prime-Minister made his hasty getaway the security bods made it quite clear that it’s the PM who gets close to the electorate rather than the other way around.  So now the dust has settled, what should we make of the Heckler and the Heckled?

    The Heckler

    Mr Butterworth’s tone was forceful, clear and passionate but importantly he didn’t ‘over-egg the pudding’.  Some hecklers get lost in the emotion of the moment and throw their tempers (and shoes) at their targets. Usually resulting in an arrest, this rarely benefits their cause, instead making a speedy exit look sensible rather than seedy.  Todays heckle was well delivered and it hit home hard.  Less successful political heckles included ‘over-egging’ John Prescott,  the protester didn’t really have that much to say and as it turns out, nor did the Deputy Prime-Minister.

    Some hecklers also fall at the first hurdle which is ‘make sure your target hears what you’ve got to say’.  Other hecklers achieve much more with one incident in particular not only making the news headlines but was made ‘during’ the news headlines.  Who could ever forget the Lesbian invasion of the BBC News studios? (No-one thanks to this clip on youtube).

    Hecklers may only be exercising their democratic right to free speech but they have more to lose than they think.  A poorly executed heckle can do more harm than good although Mr Butterworth’s example from today could easily go down in political history as ‘textbook’.

    The Heckled

    The second party caught up in the moment immediately starts at a disadvantage.  The element of surprise is a vital strategy, straight from the heckler’s handbook.  Like an assassination attempt, the heckle can go relatively unchallenged for a few seconds before anyone gets chance to react.  Mr Brown found himself caught in the classic dichotomy of what to do.  Should he try to rescue the situation with a smile and a handshake? (Unlikely at the best of times) or should he just get out of there as quickly as possible?

    The Prime-Minister plumped for option two which sometimes can work well while other times can be quite damaging in itself.  When hecklers don’t appear too ‘rabid’ as in the case of Mr Butterworth, it can look quite ignorant when impassioned pleas for justice or answers fall on deaf ears.  In reality, Mr Brown probably didn’t have much option in the situation as security concerns can take precedence over PR however wherever possible, it can be helpful if the Heckled can muster some kind of response to what is put before them.

    One of many?

    As I mentioned earlier, we are barely twenty-four hours into this election campaign and it would be very surprising indeed if this heckle turned out to be an isolated incident.  With most heckles its probably healthy for us to remember that to see the real heckle and harangue pros at work, don’t need to look far beyond our illustrious politicians themselves.  They are all experts at it. In fact the irony of all of this is that you only need to watch them in Parliament to see how it really should be done.

     
  • Paul Hurst 12:27 pm on May 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , brown, date, , , fawkes, general, government, grodon, guido, mistake, , , , resigns, speaker, , uk   

    What a Twittering idiot! 

    When twittering surely the only rule would be ‘don’t write something you wouldn’t say’ however one of the latest twittering MP’s may have fallen foul in one of his very first updates!

    @nickbrownmp seems to suggest that the UK could indeed be heading for an early general election, this from the ‘virtual mouth’ of he who is responsile for whipping all the Labour MP’s into place (whip harder I say).  The governments chief whip may have meant to say something different however Whitehall tongues are now wagging about the Speakers replacement and a nice shiny new Parliament to go with it.

    Either that or Mr Brown (unfortunate name for a labour MP) was careless with government information which he meant to send privately.  Instead it’s now very much in the the public domain, without the need for losing a memory stick, a CD-ROM and no laptops were needed to be left on public transport either.  Come to think about it, he’s just cutting out the middle man and saving the taxpayer some money by leaking it inadvertently via a free service with no cost to the taxpayer whatsoever!  And who says all our MP’s are on the take…

    (for more on this, visit @guidofawkes blog)

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel