Tory MP Nadine Dorries is not exactly a stranger to ‘open mouth, insert foot’ moments on social media. Earlier this month, in a rush to defend Damian Green over pornography on the now-removed Cabinet minister’s computer, she tweeted an admission that all her staff have the password to her parliamentary computer, sparking a panicked email from parliamentary IT support staff to all users about the importance of keeping passwords secret.
This morning, however, Ms Dorries managed to excel herself with a remarkable rant against ‘the left’ that triggered a tsunami of derision, not least because it demonstrated that Ms Dorries apparently considers panto an intellectual art form:
The tweet was an instant hit, although not in a good way, with a very high ‘Ratio‘ of comments to retweets – a strong indicator, in Twitter terms, of a major ‘fail’.
And small wonder.
Ms Dorries managed to fit a rant of epic scale, containing no fewer than six smears against the left, all of them surprising to this particular lefty, into Twitter’s new limit of 280 characters – and included the priceless nugget that we are ‘dumbing down panto’, as if panto was an intellectual pursuit in the first place.
This particular claim was a particular focus of the hundreds of mocking responses to Ms Dorries’ tweet:
Oh for the intellectual powerhouse that was pantos past.
— Willshome (@willshome) December 27, 2017
A personal favourite among the responses, a tough choice in a rich seam, derided the whole tweet rather than focusing on the panto pantomime, though – and the follow-ups to it were pretty damned fine, too:
However, a more serious point was also raised about the existence or otherwise of any actual evidence for the list of accusations, for example this tweet (with a very healthy ratio):
Nothing was forthcoming, so in case Ms Dorries had logged out of Twitter we emailed her to ask:
Dear Ms Dorries,
You tweeted this morning with a number of accusations against ‘the left’. Please provide by return examples for each of your claims, namely:
- killing comedy
- tearing down historic statues
- removing books from universities
- dumbing down panto
- removing Christ from Christmas
- suppressing free speech
At the time of publication, no response had been received.
The instinct of the right to point fingers at others for exactly its own tendencies is as well known as its lack of self-awareness and irony – and a source of amusement to the left-wingers whose sense of humour makes a mockery of the idea that the left is ‘killing comedy’.
Perhaps a #NadinesPanto hashtag with ideas for intellectual pantomimes is needed – tag @skwawkbox in your tweet and we’ll feature the best in a separate article.
Edit: #IntellectualPanto is also trending on Twitter so we’ll pick up the best of those as well.
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