Off Message: Fine Gael is floundering under social media’s pitiless gaze

Politicians fear irrelevance more than censure, which may partly go to explain why the party went badly off course this week. Add Twitter to the mix, and you’ve got an electoral disaster waiting to happen

19th January, 2020
Off Message: Fine Gael is floundering under social media’s pitiless gaze
Gardaí at the scene next to the Grand Canal in Dublin where a homeless man was injured. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Timing is everything in politics. Optics are everything in politics. And, increasingly, Twitter is everything in politics, and there’s no place to hide from your public, particularly not when you make a boo-boo, or a series of them, publicly.

That’s a lesson Fine Gael learned this week when, despite their best-laid plans, launching their general election campaign, they found themselves mired in a quagmire of their own making. It was all supposed to...

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