It was once said that the pen was mightier than the sword – we now know that the keyboard is mightier still. Whichever way you look at it, social media has been a catalyst for debate, opinion and comment.
And, of course, the world most impacted by this paradigm shift in the way in which we form our opinions is politics. Like market traders coming to terms with the existence of Amazon, politicians have watched helplessly as people move their thoughts, opinions and campaigns online – and away from Westminster influence.
The people who run our country exist on the woodpile of ‘social’ public accountability that threatens to ignite and destroy them at any moment. At last, a maverick tweeter with a penchant for vigilante political justice can snapshot their views in 140 characters and share them with the globe.
Perhaps it’s unfair to condemn our ruling elite as the Luddites of social media, trying to grapple with the elusive power of the Twittersphere. Perhaps we’re wrong when we say that they can’t tell their meme from their hashtag.
Because sometimes, sometimes, they get it right.
Facebook’s new ‘movie’ feature, somewhat like a cheap burger, reconstitutes the scraps of your social media profile and squeezes them together in a dubious-looking cinematic patty – heavily flavoured with false nostalgia and joy. It’s exactly the sort of online tripe that fills up your timeline and makes you want to smash your laptop into 50 pieces, throw it into a skip and urinate on it.
And that’s what made it perfect for parody.
In a combination of satire and political attack, Labour this afternoon released ‘David Cameron’s Facebook Movie’. Using a montage of the coalition’s most embarrassing blunders of the last four years, Labour have crafted a provocative video that ‘pokes’ Cameron right in the pride.
By taking a look at the ‘most unliked posts’ – pasty tax, an NHS re-org hash-up and tax breaks for the wealthy, Labour sat back with a straight face and unashamedly took the mickey out of Cameron and his government.
Here was an example of a party breaking the traditional convention of politicians not making jokes and exploiting it to the full. In this country we don’t always like to get involved in politics, but today we engaged in the age old British tradition: having a good old chuckle at someone else’s expense.
Have a look for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3clUh-S2M9Y