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

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

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Gold Ferrari sits outside Chanel on Sloane Street  

Sunday Times Rich List: We are no longer in thrall to very rich people

Terence Blacker
David Cameron was openly emotional at the prospect of Scotland leaving the union before the referendum  

Remember when David Cameron almost cried over Scotland because he loved it so much?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions