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

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: A royal serving the nation

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko prior to the start of the European Council Summit in Brussels last month  

David Cameron talks big but is waving a small stick at the Russian bear

Kim Sengupta
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003