If you can't stand the tweet...

THE results of a day’s work for States members yesterday may show it was a good day. Two rational, sensible, and, despite all the bluster, largely expected decisions will stand the Assembly in good stead for at least the next 24 hours, before they get on to addressing the future of secondary education.

Let the record show how members decided that they would act to keep behavioural standards high, in agreeing to suspend Deputy Chris Le Tissier for the next 12 months as punishment for his social media activity on an anonymous account.

Too high, though, argued Deputy Neil Inder. He stated that others would have similar sanctions coming if they failed to watch their step.

Is the States, though, getting itself into a right lather on social media platforms, and particularly Twitter? Is that social presence a must to 'do' politics today?

Leaving Deputy Le Tissier's actions aside, were members making a meal of their online interactions?

Can the online conduct of deputies and those politically interested in the island really be equated to the racist abuse suffered by England footballers after Sunday’s Euro2020 final?

The offline Deputy Peter Ferbrache referred to ‘keyboard cowards’, telling them to ‘grow up, be human, and have respect’.

‘Deputies are not punchbags, we’re not to be judged by social media, we’re to be judged fairly.'

Why the two are mutually exclusive it’s not clear, but we get the point. It's not pleasant, it's not kind.

If Deputy Le Tissier’s demise will improve online standards, great. But it's doubtful.

One can see why so many are put off pursuing politics because of the abuse they will inevitably face on social media.

Maybe Bob Murray had the right idea in saying: ‘If you can’t stand the heat, don’t go into the kitchen.'

After yesterday's little social diversion, members need to move on.

Deputy Murray said he was concerned for the children. Maybe he'd moved on today’s start of the secondary education debate, when members will have to concentrate on much more than 280 characters at a time.

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