Nuts & Bolts #3 – Tweeting Off More Than You Can Chew

Nuts & Bolts #3 - (09/01/15)

Mark Winn, Conservative councillor for Bedgrove in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, has become the latest, ahem, casualty of social media backlash when, following an episode of television hospital drama featuring a case of misdiagnosed malnutrition, he tweeted the following:

N&B#3 - Mark Winn Tweet

Cllr Winn could not live up to his phonetic namesake when faced with the angry response of social media to his food bank insinuations, and has since deleted the tweet and suspended his Twitter account in the wake of this incident, which he describes as a “politically motivated campaign”…and the rest of us describe as “pointing out when someone says something rather foolish that betrays an unpleasant attitude about those in desperate need.”

“I really should have said some people have addictions or mental health problems that might use food banks.” he later told the BBC.

Well, yes Cllr Winn, that would have been more accurate, if not entirely clear due to the no-doubt inadvertent subject confusion – it is people that use food banks, not their addictions or mental health problems. Grammatical pedantry aside, it would have been a moot point to make regardless. Some people wearing red hats might use food banks – the vagaries of the modified statement make it true of any conceivable demographic.

But while Twitter may have risen up to rightly complain about Cllr Winn’s comments regarding those using food banks, will we see a similar concerted effort – from social media or otherwise – to challenge the politics, policies, and economic environment that make food banks a sad necessity in the first place?

I wouldn’t bank on it.


Aylesbury Vale councillor Mark Winn in Casualty food bank Twitter row, BBC, Online:, Available: January 2015

Art (ahem…) copyright of Neil Jackson, 08/01/2015


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