Now we’re in lockdown, the only place to get involved with politics is online – and that’s dangerous
How to unite a political party that can’t meet will be one of the first challenges for new Labour leader Keir Starmer. He needs to take a good look at how his party behaves online, warns Emma Burnell
Labour has a new leader and a chance to turn the page on the divisiveness of the last five years. But under these extraordinary national circumstances, will that be possible?
There will be no chance for Keir Starmer to meet his party’s members face to face; no nationwide tour where he can bring them all together in a wave of excitement and anticipation of the new. All interaction between the incoming leader and his prospective voters will be online.
The Labour debate rages online with the kind of vitriol that admittedly does have some echoes face to face (I’ve attended some spectacularly unpleasant meetings). But more often people are emboldened online to say things they simply would not say in real life. The tone of the political debate hosted on Twitter, in particular, is grotesque.