Using Social Media
Last Sunday week the Sunday Independent carried a front-page headline 'Attack On Democracy', with a sub-heading of 'Threat to security of Kenny, Cabinet; Racist abuse to firebomb victim TD'.
It was accredited to a combination of Daniel McConnell, Jim Cusack and Ronald Quinlan, went on to outline the recent spate of vicious, violent and bloody attacks on hundreds of leading Irish politicians.
Well okay, that's an exaggeration of what the article contained, but the exaggerated reaction from government and media to those recent events, against the total ignoring of far greater violence and threats suffered by many protesters during the recent standoffs, prompted Luke 'Ming' Flanagan MEP to pen his own version of 'Attack On Democracy', which he subsequently posted to his Facebook page.
The Sunday Independent has an audited circulation of 216,108; by mid-afternoon on Feb 10th, the number of people reached by Luke 'Ming' Flanagan's Facebook post had reached 271,616.
An impressive figure, no doubt about it, but even that number is dwarfed by another post on the Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Facebook page from before Christmas on his experience in an A&E ward, which has now reached the staggering number of 764,928.
This surely indicates the power of social media; it suggests also that perhaps there is now a new means by which politicians may directly reach and interact with their constituents.