We are all in Tom Watson’s debt for pursuing the corruption of the Murdoch press as vigorously as he has – and continues to. I have had some dealings with Tom arising from my involvement in the Government 2.0 Taskforce. In any event, in addition to continuing his pursuit of the Murdoch press he has just been caught up in a strange set of events. His intern, it seems took to his Twitter account when he was in a meeting and tweeted something which mentioned rape. If you mention rape this stirs up trouble. And what the hell was she doing on his Twitter account? Who knows, but it was a very stupid thing to do, which she very quickly admitted on Twitter.
This caused the predictable avalanche of nonsense in the media. Tom acted pretty kindly, didn’t sack the silly idiot who had tweeted on his account, and then published this account. It ends in these propositions.
8. The intern has not been sacked nor was she ever going to be. She’s young. We all make mistakes.
9. I know her well enough to know she’ll never do this sort of thing again.
10. And yes, I know I should have logged out. I really do. Thank you to the people who pointed that out.
11. For those that have asked – all my tweets, other than the two this morning, are my own.
12. Though my account wasn’t technically ‘hacked’, yes, I do understand the irony of what happened.
13. Once again, I am sorry.
Now the British are different to us. They’re more sticklers for form. So if Tom wants to apologise, then technically yes, the buck stops with him. He runs the office and ‘takes responsibility’ for what happens.
But beyond that? He’s in his own office and I don’t agree that he ‘really should’ have assumed that one of his staff would hijack his online ID, even for a joke, just as he shouldn’t assume that she would forge his signature, or (for that matter) video a visiting guest on the dunny. As for ‘irony’ – Tom’s role as a minister in the Blair Government was to promote these online tools and train others in them. Well OK, admit the irony, but strictly speaking there’s not much irony. Someone stuffed up.
I can’t help thinking that a right leaning politician wouldn’t be bowing and scraping. Enough of the apologies Tom. Leave them to Rupert Murdoch – even if he doesn’t mean them.