It's a thin line between 'normal' and 'eurrghh'

Poor smirking Tony Abbott. He's just a radio man adrift in a YouTube world

Share

When it comes to embarrassing technology fails, we've all been there, surely. Who hasn't used a work email account to send hilarious messages to pals, accidentally copying in a colleague? Or tweeted something without thinking how it would be received? And included a photograph of their genitals in that tweet? Or blatantly laughed at a chronically ill lady while not realising that they're on camera at the time … No? Oh well, give it a while, you're only human after all.

These days, we like our politicians to be more human, apparently, and find it reassuring when they make the same little mistakes as the rest of us. Though they have to choose their mistakes carefully: being afraid of Romanians is endearing and wins votes in marginal constituencies, whereas inelegantly eating a bacon sandwich would be electoral suicide.

Several powerful men have fallen foul of technology recently. Ukip campaigners thought they were being really clever by encouraging people to respond to the Twitter meme #ImVotingUKIPBecause. The hashtag trended all right, with answers such as "I'm pretty sure that the fox that keeps taking a dump in my garden is a Bulgarian" and "Mr sheen left smears on my mirror and it says on the bottle that he's polish…" Still, it wasn't as humiliating a Twitter fail as when the US Congressman Anthony Weiner posted a photo of his namesake body part, thinking that he'd sent it in a private message. Doh!

Last week, the Premier League boss Richard Scudamore was also kicking himself after realising that referring to women as "gash" in emails read by his PA was quite embarrassing on the whole – especially when she leaked them to the press. Oops! He has kept his job, after an investigation found he is definitely not a sexist. He just sometimes sounds like a sexist, which is a completely different thing.

Much like the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who insists that he is not unsympathetic to those struggling under his spending cuts, despite being filmed winking and trying not to laugh during a radio phone-in when a chronically ill 67-year-old woman told him that she had been forced to work on a phone sex line to make ends meet. Poor Mr Abbott – he's not really to blame for what happened to his face when he heard the word "sex" and couldn't stop smirking. He's just a radio man in a YouTube world.

It's a good job we have leaders who are so human, because otherwise we might end up with people who either know how to communicate or don't have embarrassing opinions to hide, or both, then where would we be? We'd have someone like Julia Gillard as our PM, that's where. Hmm... Maybe if we all tweet her and plead, she might be persuaded to do the job. But only people who know how to tweet properly, OK? And definitely no naked selfies.

twitter.com/@katyguest36912

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The London Symphony Orchestra, led by Valery Gergiev, performs a free open-air concert in Trafalgar Square  

Help! London has been conquered by Event Security and nobody is safe from its pointless screens

Howard Jacobson
 

The people of Iraq cannot be left to suffer alone

Dominik Stillhart
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable