Friday, October 30, 2015

Twittering about the UNISON General Secretary election...

These days trade union elections are fought also on social media. This includes the UNISON General Secretary election, where three of the candidates have a significant presence on twitter.
John Burgess has more than 1,000 followers.
Dave Prentis has a little over 900 followers.
It has been alleged that whoever is running Dave’s twitter account has “purchased” followers in a desperate attempt to keep up with his key rank and file leftwing challenger.
When I heard this allegation I could not believe it so I looked at Dave’s followers.
Here is one of them. Here is another. And another. And another.
Those four followers do strike me as being among the many of his followers of whom one might say it is a little odd that they have spontaneously chosen to follow the twitter feed of a candidate in our General Secretary election.
So I have tweeted at each of those four followers as follows; “do you support @electprentis and what are your views about the UNISON General Secretary election?”
If the allegations that Dave Prentis (or whoever runs his twitter feed) has purchased twitter followers are entirely without foundation then I am sure I shall receive four reasoned responses.
And when I do, I shall blog about it.
Rest assured.

I should add that Heather Wakefield has one or two followers on twitter one might ask questions about, but I guess that could happen to anyone...

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Friendly advice: I think you would do well to have a very close look at John Burgess's followers before pursuing this line, Jon. You may be being suckered into looking rather foolish.

Jon Rogers said...

There are random dodgy non-people all over twitter - but a close observer (not I) spotted the leap in the numbers following @electprentis - I don't doubt the person responsible has now arranged for some non-followers for other candidates too. The point isn't whether I look foolish (regular readers of this blog, Sid and Doris Blogger know I often do). The point is why, given the circumstances, do the Prentis campaign look so desperate?

Anonymous said...

I am very impressed by the sudden leap in numbers of photographs of DP in UNISON InFocus (six in the last issue). I recall that the same thing happened four years ago.

Anonymous said...

Yawn. All public twitter accounts have loads of spam followers. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Prentis must be really quaking in his boots if this is the level of opposition he is facing! Come on Jon - you can muster something better than this, surely?

Anonymous said...

How's the investigation going?

Anonymous said...

Have you even considered asking @electprentis the question directly? At least it wouldn't come across as quite so snidey as this slithery and disingenuous sort of allegation-making?

Jon Rogers said...

I tweeted @electprentis directly and have had no response - rather than insult an insignificant blogger (who cares not) shouldn't serious people be challenging Prentis? What is his plan for UNISON? What is his succession plan? Why did he screw that up over the last five years?

Anonymous said...

I bet you're pleased with that clever - but evasive - answer. I've looked through the timeline and all I see about the issue is you posting a link to this blog post with the rude addition of 'sort it out'.
That is not asking a direct question. It's simply arrogance.

Jon Rogers said...

I'm always eager to take lessons in arrogance from anonymous tutors. Maybe you should direct your attention to Mr Prentis my unknown friend?

Anonymous said...

FAIL.

Jon Rogers said...

Oh no! Someone who won't own their own comments has now used CAPITAL letters! I must be wrong...

Anonymous said...

So you won't ask a simple direct question of @electprentis - sounds like you know the answer you'd get and that you'd look rather stupid. But always better to sling the mud than be upfront and ask, eh Jon?

Jon Rogers said...

If you've looked you'll've seen four such direct questions my anonymous friend.

Anonymous said...

I can't see any direct questions to @electprentis from you about this. Perhaps you'd be kind enough to publish here the four direct questions exactly as you posed to them to @electprentis so that your readers can judge for themselves? Especially those not on Twitter.

Jon Rogers said...

I can't really offer twitter tutorials to people who are anonymous.

I was briefly amused that the desperation of the Prentis camp that their candidate should cling on to a job in which he shows less and less interest had led to this faux pas by whichever of the dwindling band of supporters had custody of the twitter feed.

But you seem much more interested in this than me.

So why don't you tweet @electprentis about this? I assume you are @anonymous???

You can email them if you prefer.

They might ignore anonymous questions I suppose.

But perhaps you are not anonymous from them?

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps you've got yourself in a little muddle here, Jon, and are talking about the tweets you mentioned in your blogpost that you directed to the supporters that you identifed, and not to @directprentis at all?

So I ask again, why not do the honest thing and ask @electprentis the question directly?

Jon Rogers said...

I see you've lunched well (in the Anonymous Arms?) and recommend a strong coffee, a nap and diligent attention to my last comment.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you want the questions you directly posed to @electprentis published here, Jon?

And interesting to see you've moved on from reporting it as an allegation to specifically saying yourself that it was a "faux pas by whoever had custody of the twitter feed".

Jon Rogers said...

Ah. Another pint? Was that wise?

Honestly I'm sure the Prentis camp would like to hear from you directly.

Now that Bob Oram has stuck the knife in I hear that they are increasingly lonely.

Still, you're always welcome here.

Even if you don't know who you are.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jon. Very glad to be welcome here!

But please, please, please publish here the questions you posed directly to @electprentis? I'm beginning to feel like Jeremy Corbyn keep having to ask David Cameron the same question time and again about tax credits!

Do your blog readers not deserve to see them if, that is, you really did ask them?

Jon Rogers said...

You've read the questions. I've published them.

Now ask yourself what on earth is going on at the top of UNISON and why what could be a great trade union is so much less significant than it might be.

See if you can manage to connect those last two paragraphs.

All by yourself.

Anonymous said...

So I was right - the questions you posed were to those supporters you were concerned about and not to @electprentis

Why all the evasion?

It would've been a whole lot easier to come clean at the beginning, Jon.

Jon Rogers said...

I'm glad you've made an assumption that pleases you my anonymous friend. I don't of course publish private correspondence.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jon.

Perhaps someone else can find those direct questions you posed to @electprentis and post them here?

I'm sure there must be someone clever enough to hunt them down. I won't be holding my breath, though.

Or you could simply put up and show everyone how very wrong I am and how badly I've wronged you.

Can't be that difficult, can it?

(Unless you are now taking refuge in seeking to describe public exchanges on Twitter as private correspondence, that is.)

Jon Rogers said...

I'm so glad you won't be holding your breath until I treat anonymous comments with respect.

To feel responsible for yet another of the fallen whilst standing at the monument to the unknown blog commentator would just be more than I could bear.

Anonymous said...

While some might be speculating about my identity, I just know they'll be more interested in why you won't clear things up by publishing here the direct questions you posed to @electprentis

But then you wouldn't do it even for a named commentator, would you? Because it wouldn't support your story.

Jon Rogers said...

I'll leave you to enjoy your delusions of significance my dear anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Oh! Please don't leave, Jon. Not without showing us here those four questions you claim to have posed directly to @electprentis

Go on. Just to show people that you aren't a liar.





Anonymous said...

Morning, Jon!
How about sharing those four questions here today - those ones you posed direct to @electprentis - please?

Anonymous said...

Disappointed in you, Jon. Thought you might have had the courage to admit you were wrong, even if only because you made a mistake. Because there were no direct questions about your allegations on buying followers put to @electprentis by you, were there?

Jon Rogers said...

Dave Prentis has had ample opportunity to refute the clear suggestion that someone acting on his behalf has arranged for his twitter feed to be followed by some most implausible followers. He has chosen not to do so. I suggest you take that up with him.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure readers of your blog will draw their own conclusions from your persistent evasiveness on this.

Jon Rogers said...

Not the followers I purchased though...

Anonymous said...

You know, you could always ask @electprentis directly if they have purchased followers.

You could try something really straightforward like 'Have you purchased followers?' or 'How many followers have you purchased?' Worth a try I'd have thought?

Jon Rogers said...

Don't let me stop you asking him since you're so concerned.

Anonymous said...

But, Jon, you not telling the truth is far, far more interesting. It's easy to prove me a liar: just publish here the questions you put directly to @electprentis

Come on - 'fess up. You didn't ask @electprentis those direct questions you claimed to, did you?

Anonymous said...

Morning, Jon! How are you?

I'm disappointed to see you've stopped publishing my comments. Is there a problem?

Or simply that you can dish it out, but can't take it?

Did you try either of those questions I suggested?

Go on - sort it out!

Jon Rogers said...

I suggest you ask Dave about this. I would be flattered at your interest in what I've said were you not so obviously confused.

Chris Burrow said...

Is anonymous a pseudonym for Dave Prentis. Would be very apt.

Chris Burrow said...

Is anonymous a pseudonym for Dave Prentis? Some might say it was apt.

SarahF said...

I suspect Chris its someone very close to him - thats not DPs writing style but I can take aim at a couple of people at the top of the tree whose style it might be ;)