I’ve been having discussions and reading about the enhanced role our major cities can play, proposals to hand more power and responsibility to city halls, or Core Cities, and the ambition of towns to be seen as having more clout.
Yesterday’s announcement that Perth, St Asaph and Chelmsford are to be crowned Jubilee cities brought back memories of my time reporting the ultimately fruitless city status bids of the towns in which I worked, in Reading at the end of the 1990s and Doncaster a couple of years later. A lot of people don’t get the point of these city status bids, as they confer no extra power or funding on the winner. But it shouldn’t be underestimated what it means to people who live and work there. It can help raise the profile or even change the image of a place (ask Preston, who beat Donny to become a ‘Golden City’ in 2002).
A very harsh lesson was handed out to frustrated flyer Paul Chambers at Doncaster Crown Court today: if you don’t want your words (or tweets) to get you into trouble, don’t let them come out of your mouth (or Twitter feed). Sure, joking on Twitter that he would blow Donny airport ‘sky high’ if he couldn’t fly to Ireland was dim. But criminal?
It’s merely the latest in a long line of regretful tweets made in the heat of the moment without thinking, just like in the ‘real world’ where people say stupid things all the time.
There is a growing chorus of incredulity in the Twitterverse tonight at the judge’s decision to throw out Chambers’ appeal against his conviction for the ‘obviously menacing’ tweet. The hashtag #twitterjoketrial could be trending tonight as a result.
If only he had thought twice before hitting the tweet button though. He’s not the only tweeter to hit the headlines for glib remarks today either.