The Washington Post

Winston Churchill invoked to defend tweeting in House of Commons

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in May 20, 1940. (AP)

If this prolific author were alive today, would he have made use of Twitter?

One British MP believes so, and in an argument last week over whether to allow members of the House of Commons to tweet from inside the building, Churchill was invoked to defend the practice.

The House of Commons was considering banning Twitter from inside parliament, but a number of tweeting MPs stood in defense of the practice, saying it connected them to their voters.

Kevin Brennan, an MP from Cardiff West, first defended Twitter with Churchill’s words in an article in a British magazine. On Thursday, in the House of Commons, Brennan used Churchill again, saying:

There is nothing new in political communication in trying to get a message across in a pithy, memorable way, as Twitter enables us to do. In fact, I think that it was a certain Winston Churchill who said: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” If that statement was issued as a tweet, it would leave 66 of the 140 characters available on Twitter still to play with. 

The argument seems to have worked. The House of Commons voted against the motion to ban tweeting, the tech blog Silicon reported.

Of course, that does not mean Churchill would have embraced tweeting. His estate started an account in 2010 to tweet out the “official wit and wisdom” of Churchill. It has since gone silent.


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