Erdington Councillor Gareth Compton (Conservative) manages to make the papers this morning for a Tweet he published last night suggesting (jokingly one would hope and assume) that a journalist to be stoned to death: “Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan’t tell Amnesty if you don’t. It would be a blessing, really,”
He’s now since deleted it, apologised, and said: “Twitter is a forum for glib comment of the moment. It was a glib comment. Who could possibly think it was serious? ”
And no, in the context of the @GarethFCompton twitter account it’d be hard to take it seriously, but each Tweet can be seen on it’s own, without context. Around the election, his un-disguised glee at the result was understandable, but on Twitter at least he was hardly magnanimous in victory. That episode (go read about it) did have it’s comic value though, however much it disappointed those who live in his ward in Birmingham.
If brevity (and 140 chars is pretty brief) is the soul of wit, it’s also the saving grace of being able to converse with those of wildly different opinions. It’s why so many people can watch or read the views of Jeremy Clarkson while realising he states the opinions of an arse—he’s funny with it. Sorry, Councillor, this just wasn’t witty.
Disappointingly there seems to be no-way political opponents or the media can take these things with anything other than po-faced horror, one of the joys of instant self publishing to me is the insight it can give to the people behind office.
People may think Cllr Compton has acted like a bit of a dick, but I will defend his right to be a bit of a dick
— and if he wants to do it out in the open where those that have the chance to vote on his position can see, so much the better.