This addendum to the first Brexit Stories podcast explores social media’s role in relation to the Matt Lord’s story. The discussion looks to Matt’s two week-long recovery after being attacked in a local park. In this state he spent considerable time on social media, posting links and opinions relating to the turmoil in the British Labour Party.
I should say a little more about that. In the days following the vote, most of the Labour Shadow Cabinet decided to resign en masse. Basically, as if Brexit wasn’t enough political news to contend with, they decided to add a little extra spice. In their view, the Labour leader had shown insufficient enthusiasm for the European Union. They also believed that he had not campaigned enough in the lead up to the vote. As such he was not fit to govern. But in his eyes, the Labour party membership had given him a massive mandate to lead the part less than a year ago. And likewise, the membership itself had grown massively since his arrival.
Matt is a die-hard Corbyn fan, having joined the party and subsequently invested a lot of time in activism after Corbyn’s election. So with all this free time during his recovery, he hit facebook with abandon, really filling his friends walls with post after post in supporting Corbyn.
As with the previous podcast, this depicts Matt’s situation quite unfairly. He has in fact engaged quite a lot in real life activism. But the unusual circumstances he was in at that time are quite helpful for the argument purposes. Indeed, this podcast questions whether using social media in this way is that effective. Especially given more recent events, the question we nee to ask is, should we be engaging more in real life?