Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seducing Rob Shorthouse

This is not the most riveting Twitter exchange I've ever reposted here, but it's still worth looking at, because you really have to constantly remind yourself that the guy I'm talking to is the official No campaign's Director of Communications.  He seems for all the world like the mirror image of me - someone just sparring on Twitter to pass the time.  But he's actually being employed at a very senior level to do this (and as he once pointed out to a bemused audience at a public debate, the most important thing about the referendum is that it's paying his mortgage).  Can you imagine any of the equivalent senior people in the Yes campaign - Dennis Canavan, Nicola Sturgeon, Stephen Noon, Kevin Pringle, etc - wasting their time making snide comments on Twitter to try to get one over on a random No supporter?

It's the sheer lack of class in the ranks of the official No campaign that never ceases to take my breath away.  It's not as if Shorthouse is one bad apple - his boss Blair McDougall acts in much the same way on social media.  It's like the Tories have hired a bunch of overgrown, sniggering schoolboys to help save "the greatest political union in the history of the known universe".

Rob Shorthouse : The #bbcbias protest is in full swing. What they don't know is that #MI5 is about to turn on the mind beam.

Me : Shouldn't they have appointed a comedian as Better Together's Director of Comedy?

Rob Shorthouse : As you wish... (posts a photo of Eddie Izzard apparently auditioning to be the new James Bond)

Me : Yes, Izzard almost certainly could do your job better.

Rob Shorthouse : You must be absolutely brilliant at parties.

Me : Another classic, Rob. All your Christmases came at once when the Tories said they'd pay you to be an internet troll.

Rob Shorthouse : Fancy going out sometime? Just me and you. Go for a drink? Maybe catch a movie?

Me : I think we both know what's happening here, Rob. Don't fight it.

Rob Shorthouse : Steady on pal. I was only asking if you wanted to go for a drink. Take it slow, don't rush me!

Me : Take all the time you need. The best things in life are worth waiting for.

Rob Shorthouse : You are creeping me out a little now.

Me : Don't let irrational fear ruin something special, Rob. (That advice also has broader applications.) #indyref


  1. It's a waste of time bothering with them. Very similar to my conversation a while back with another member of his team.

  2. When you look at his initial offer to go out sometime etc, it doesn't follow the normal conversation rules, it is completely out of context to what was being discussed.

    The only conclusion you can reasonably make is it's clearly the kind of offer someone makes to 'Go for a Walk' ie go for a fight!

    So you call the director of Communications at Better Together a Troll who is on the Tory Payroll, and it hits home so much he wants a 'Square Go'

    You don't have to Fight him James, you've already got him on the ropes, without landing a single punch.

    Perhaps Rob wanted to practice 'punching above his weight' lol.

  3. oops don't know what happened there,

  4. No problem, I've deleted the two duplicate comments. One thing I noticed about Shorthouse was that his gloating in advance of the last YouGov poll being published went way beyond anything we've previously seen from either side (including from McDougall himself). It was pantomimish and childish in the extreme.

  5. Hilarious James...

    Not sure why he is "creeped out" (is that the right tense?).

    Wasn't it he who deviated from the conversation to ask you on a date?

    Let's know if he sends you flowers.

  6. It was Shorthouse that was behind the fake bins story wasn't it? And the Daily Mail of course.

  7. Whatever Rob Shorthouse invited you out for, it would certainly not have been to fight. Rob Shorthouse couldn't fight sleep.

  8. Dead right. My favourites are (1) can you imagine Blair Jenkins tweeting a shopped image of Salmond's face on Putin's naked torso like MacDougall did and (2), of course, can you imagine Denis Camavan accusing Cameron of being a blood and soil National Sociailist?

    Their campaign has been the closest to Nixonian this country has seen.

  9. Don't know about anyone else but I smell loneliness. I mean would you like to spend your days with that bunch of humourless twits.