This rogue Tory MP is responsible for the most Alan Partridge tweet of 2018
Johnny Mercer went rogue from the Conservative Party on 18 October. The MP for Plymouth Moor View described the current government as a “shit show”. When people looked into it more, an interesting tweet emerged:
The tweet prompting this response has since been deleted. The account that posted it – @Billabong1965 – no longer exists. Possibly this means Mercer caught up with them and instigated some sort of duel:
Although – you know – probably not. They likely just deleted their account or got banned for making more baseless insinuations.
People pointed out that Mercer had just drawn more attention to the issue:
Others wondered if he’d made a mistake:
And eventually, it snowballed into a full-blown meme:
"Get Lynn to post a comment on the Plymouth Herald page insinuating…" pic.twitter.com/uqJFsYtA21
— Bill Stevens (@CouncillorBill) October 19, 2018
Hark, the herald comes!
People played off several other memes:
Good morning everyone, except those of you have been insinuating that my wife is a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comment section.
— Ben Steele (@BenSte3le) October 20, 2018
"Then I went on to the Plymouth Herald page and insinuated…"
"No, Joe!" pic.twitter.com/Vsx0uztOGY
— Bill Stevens (@CouncillorBill) October 19, 2018
Some made references to popular culture:
‘We insinuated his wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section by mistake.’ pic.twitter.com/5J6vog0H4K
— Battles (@coalitionofcha2) October 19, 2018
“We didn't even know there was a Plymouth Herald comments section. We were trying to write a review of Salisbury Cathedral and we got lost.” pic.twitter.com/GVubqY8vFL
— Michael Glasper (@michaelglasper) October 19, 2018
Some thought the idea bore expanding upon:
One Chance At Honesty – the new film from Plymouth Herald Productions.
Starring Nicolas Cage as Johnny Mercer
John Malkovich as 'The Insinuator'
…and with Steve Buscemi as The Comments Section pic.twitter.com/mdUMjoTR6w
— Mark Worgan ?? (@worgztheowl) October 19, 2018
People also wondered about this event’s eventual legacy:
“Once insinuated to be a prostitute in the Plymouth Herald Comments Section” pic.twitter.com/y9IzZVRPJk
— Andrew Head (@AndrewHead65) October 19, 2018
And in the middle of it all, people asked that we spare a thought for the Plymouth Herald:
The Plymouth Herald online team this morning. pic.twitter.com/OUyyOcbAji
— Paul Jenkins (@fourfoot) October 19, 2018
Although the team there have played it to their advantage:
"Plymouth Herald" is now trending in the UK. You can't buy this sort of publicity. Great to see an MP supporting local newspapers.
— Eddie Robson (@EddieRobson) October 19, 2018
Although all good things come to an end:
“I’m closing the Plymouth Herald comments section….for an hour." pic.twitter.com/tWnpL5jxhf
— Sarah Dempster (@Dempster2000) October 19, 2018
The Plymouth Herald has unearthed what they believe was the original comment, but it’s been deleted for breaching the site’s guidelines. If the commentator was spreading untrue information about women, obviously that is completely unacceptable, and the site was right to delete it. Comments such as those alleged should be reported and dealt with, but Mercer’s macho handling of the matter has just amplified them. As a golden rule of thumb, don’t insinuate something about a person you wouldn’t want insinuated about yourself.
The executive editor of ConservativeHome thinks Mercer might have done himself a favour:
Asking somebody if they insinuated your wife is a prostitute in the Plymouth Herald comments section to own the libs. pic.twitter.com/zXBdh6842d
— Nick Pettigrew (@Nick_Pettigrew) October 19, 2018
On 18 October, however, Mercer said:
If the situation was like it is now, I can safely say there would be absolutely no chance that I would try and be a Member of Parliament.
A lot of Tory MPs are wondering whether someone has insinuated their wife is a prostitute in the comments of the Plymouth Herald https://t.co/ZgrnuxwZua
— Mollie Goodfellow (@hansmollman) October 19, 2018
He also drew attention to his opinions that UK soldiers shouldn’t face consequences for incidents like the killing of John Pat Cunningham. The Canary has previously reported:
The British Life Guard Regiment shot and killed Cunningham near his home in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. They shot him in a field. He was unarmed and described as “a vulnerable man with learning difficulties”.
In April 2015, Dennis Hutchings was charged with attempted murder. The case is still ongoing.
Now he’s done trashing the reputations of himself and his party, there’s only one logical place for Mercer to go next. So look out, the comment section of the Plymouth Herald:
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Featured image via UK Parliament Johnny Mercer / BristleKRS Flickr
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