by Colin Campbell
DREW Hendry is the best MP on Twitter we’ve ever had. He makes full use of the medium to share his thoughts on various issues, and while his Twitter feed is not as compelling as Donald Trump’s, it is still well worth at least a weekly visit.
The high point for Mr Hendry came in the days after Nicola Sturgeon announced in March, 2017 that she intended to push ahead with plans for a second independence referendum.
In what seemed a fever of excitement, his nimble fingers were dancing over the keyboard faster than the speed of light. In the course of the next week several hundred tweets and “retweets” appeared at a bewildering rate extolling the SNP leader’s move and the prospect “for freedom” it opened up.
As I wrote at the time, Mr Hendry’s excitement was understandable, but with all his frantic Twitter activity, how did he find any space to do some work?
As a direct result of Ms Sturgeon’s indyref2 obsession, the SNP went on lose a third of their Westminster MPs at the general election three months later, including Alex Salmond and party deputy leader Angus Robertson. The Hendry “Twitter feed” died down a little.
And it continues to be calmer, less excitable and more informative than it was back then.
But things have taken a peculiar turn. Mr Hendry, or “The Office of Drew Hendry” as the link is titled, has taken to accompanying almost every two or three line contribution he makes with a picture of him. And if not a photo, then a video.
His beaming face is all over the thing. Smiling, looking proud, looking smug, looking resolute – every facial angle is covered. The videos of Mr Hendry may have some informative purpose. But it all smacks of excessive self-promotion.
Whatever other shortcomings he can be accused of, personal vanity has not been among them. So why the need now to turn his Twitter site into the Drew Hendry photo and showcase gallery?
We know what he looks like (see above) or at least many of us do.
Some people who voted for him may not know what he looks like or even who he is, on the basis that some SNP supporters would vote for a monkey on a bar stool, as long as it was wearing a yellow rosette. But they are in a minority.
The key to effective communication on Twitter is to present yourself as a thoughtful and down to earth man of the people. Mr Hendry’s unmissable site is beginning to look rather pompous and self-indulgent.
If in doubt he should follow the lead of another Great Communicator, and should try and emulate Donald Trump.