A COUPLE of posts ago I was admiring exiting MP Frank Dobson’s decision, consciously or not, to avoid bumblebrag self-promotion on Twitter. So what if the world has changed, there is still a quaint value to ignoring it all, rather than tweeting every minor achievement, two seconds after achieving them.
But then, judging from the latest edition to Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary candidate Tulip Siddiq’s bumper album of Twitpics, Frank might have done himself an enormous favour by avoiding the social media life now led by the most sucky, look-at-me politicians. He just doesn’t look comfortable with even the premise of the gig. No – he bears the look of a man frightened he has not yet learned to love a selfie, or at the very least to understand the point of them in the first place. A mobile phone camera thrust in front of him, for the first time he looks a little lost, or possibly exasperated – like an old chieftain who thinks this wurlitzing world of smartphones and the instant gratification that comes with them is suddenly revolving a smidgeon too fast to do anyone any good.
The tributes have kept on coming since his retirement announcement last week, by the way. When speaking to local reporters at RIBA last week, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said: “You go around the constituency and Frank Dobson has got huge, huge respect among people. He’s been an incredible MP, he was a brilliant health secretary, he is gong to be a huge loss to the Commons.”
Hear that? Ed Miliband said Frank Dobson was a “brilliant health secretary.” Perhaps it’s time to contrast such comments to the catty words served up for Frank by former Labour Party leader – and ex-PM – ol’ Tony Blair himself in his posey autobiography released two years ago. Delivered with a razored meanness, Blair sweepingly exclaims: “At the helm of the NHS, I had put Frank Dobson. This, in itself, indicated how little I understood when first in office.
Let it go Tony, let it go.