Belfast Telegraph

As I see it: Twitter hath no fury like a couple scorned

By Grace Dent

It is interesting, following decades of public pleading that our stiff-mannered, silver-spoon-sucking MPs should behave like "real people", that when everyday types such as Labour MP Simon Danczuk and his wife, Karen, push themselves forward, well, we're not too keen on it.

I say "wife". Ardent political spectators will be aware the Danczuks are now estranged. Karen, the woman with the boob selfie fixation, publicised her abject tristesse over the break-up by putting on a tiny leopard skin bikini, driving to a beach and whisking through a number of activities for waiting cameras. Volleyball, sunbathing, juddering about with a ping-pong bat.

Point made, Karen then took to Twitter to spill the beans on Simon, who she claims - according to tweets sent to 62,000 followers - is an #arrogant #alcoholic.

Simon replied by tweeting one of those laboured "Look at me, I'm out with boys down the pub being 100% fine!"-style of photos, which recently dumped people are seemingly powerless but to inflict on their ex-partners. Simon says she's shagging her personal trainer anyway. Karen says she was in a sexless marriage.

I watched beguiled, hoping for dignity, just not before I've finished my popcorn. But then, oh joy, Karen's personal trainer chipped in, tweeting to point out that as he is separated from his wife, um, leaving Karen's house at 5am is not as bad as it might appear.

So yes, Simon and Karen are roaringly, eye-wateringly real people. They're a perfect snapshot of modern, 4G smartphone-wielding Britain. In fact, they behave exactly like the sort of awful couple one meets at the school gate or on a package holiday who instantly add you on Facebook before treating you - drip-feed-style - to the dirty washing-basket of their private life via social media.

When real people are trapped in this sort of cycle, suggesting to them that they "have a little break" from the internet is like suggesting you both go outdoors and harness the moon with a fishing net. It's unthinkable.

One thing real people on the internet do very often is mistake their follower count for friends, or fans, when in fact they're just looky-loos enjoying the car crash.

In a sad twist, Simon appeared on World At One on Radio 4 to announce he is seeing a psychiatrist, has been drinking too much and his work has taken "a toll on his marriage".

Honest? Certainly. Winning? I'm not sure.

Belfast Telegraph


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