Freedom of Tweetch, English

Lately, there has been quite a lot of discussion about whether or not it should be allowed to engage in “social medias” (namely twitter, in this case) during meetings in our government. The Social democrats wants to limit peoples right to tweet during the time when parliament is in session. Now, the discussion started when a few members of the conservative party observed a few of the social democrats inviting the nationalist party (sverigedemokraterna) to a meeting, and they thought they needed to share that sentiment with the world. Now, this is where it gets exciting for me. First, while it might be redundant to say, I feel I ought to let you know that I am by no means a fan of the nationalist party. I find them offensive, obtuse and quite frankly lost and out of their league. That being said, they have been democratically elected to sit in parliament, and therefor one might think that they shouldn’t be excluded from meetings and such based solely on their xenophobic agenda. I kind of want to draw a parallel to a loaded gun – dangerous, but in the right hands a tool with a potential to do good. Use the nationalist party when it can further your own agenda, but don’t give them any support in theirs. If they don’t like that, then they can go sulk in a corner all by themselves. Use them as the tools they are. Now, at the same time I see why the conservatives thought that this was something they needed to let people know: it’s freebie-points for them. “Look! The opposition is hanging out with the naaaazis!”-kind of thing. Anyway. Back to the issue at hand: the “right” to tweet during parliament.

Now let me be clear – I don’t really care if it was the conservatives tweeting about the social democrats or the other way around. This argument isn’t based on political preference, and there were points made in both directions that I feel are valid and proper. The conservative party made a very good point and I’m going to poke and prod at it a bit here. They felt that while parliament is in closed session, they aren’t under any form of gag rule unless it concerns National Security. And they are right. They do have the right to let people know what goes on in parliament. Some might even say it’s their job to let people know. After all, we are a democracy, and how on earth are the people supposed to make up their own minds about how we want things to work if we cannot know what actually happens? Parts of me feel that they are entirely correct in this, that the freedom of speech should of course also be applicable for our beloved politicians, but… come on now. Really? You feel it’s your right to essentially not pay attention to what’s being said and done in the running of our country so’s you can tweet? I can feel it now, deep inside me – the annoyance turning into something resembling rage. On average, a member of parliament has a salary of 52 900 SEK/month. While you are being given that amount of money, is it really too much to ask that YOU in turn pay attention? I don’t think so. Please, feel free to tweet your heart out about who does what to whom, and why and when people act like idiots, but I beg of you – do it on your own time, and if you can’t remember what you wanted to tweet about when session is over then one of two things might be true: 1) Your mind didn’t deem it as important enough to recall or 2) You have such a bad memory that you shouldn’t be in parliament in the first place. Or for that matter, both of those points might be true.

There are similar restrictions made for ordinary citizens everywhere in society. While you do have the freedom of speech, you don’t always have the right to yap away at any time you want to. For instance, mobile phones are not allowed on airplanes (and while that is changing in some ways, it’s still a restriction), they aren’t allowed in schools and quite often also not allowed at work. I feel this is a very unusual rant for me – I tend to land on the other side of this argument. Information wants to be free, censorship is bad, etc… so I feel I am treading on unfamiliar ground. All the different new forms of social media has taken on a true life of its own, and a life tending more towards the circus and not one of solemn afterthought.

When I partake in what our country calls democracy, I try to elect politicians that not only are smarter than I but also people that work harder, read more and put more effort into their jobs than what I do. I hold you to a higher standard, and rightfully so – you are running our country because I (as a voter, not as a person) gave you that job! I want you, no… I need you to do your fucking job, and I expect you to do it well. If you write something, at least have the damn decency to spell correctly – or learn to use the spell-checker. It’s not that difficult. But if you really wanna spend your days writing a blog, or tweeting or updating your Facebook then you need to get a job that allows you to do so and please stop wasting my time.

2 Responses to “Freedom of Tweetch, English”

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