Churchill beats Jesus as ‘most wanted Twitterer from history’
Cranmer simply cannot be bothered with Twitter: it is nothing but a cacophony of inane flashes of gossip and damp squibs of naught; ephemeral bleats of gossamer and fatuous cock and bull; characterless whisperings of vanity, idle trivia, airy utterings, colourless rumours and hollow streams of consciousness which seeks to reduce everything to the superficial sound-bite of a Sun headline.
It is so perfectly postmodern.
Prospect Magazine has done a poll amongst the Twitterati, asking them which historic character they would have chosen to follow had the technology been around at the time.
Sir Winston Churchill came out on top.
Twits clearly think that his sublime utterances and depths of thought can be condensed into 140 characters.
The poll tested the views of the 11 per cent of British people who use Twitter — an estimated 5.5m people — and compared them to the rest of the country, revealing that while they have a strong liberal bias in their politics, their heroes are conservative (as defined by Prospect). Churchill topped the list (34%), while Jesus (30%) and Darwin (28%) came second and third.
(Cranmer would like to clarify that an examination of the extent to which Jesus and Darwin were 'conservative' would require a thesis, and it is noteworthy that even Churchill ratted an re-ratted).
According to Prospect editor David Goodhart: “Churchill and Jesus both specialised in brief, memorable phrases — so both ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ and ‘blessed are the meek’ are messages perfect for the Twitter generation. Jesus was obviously born to tweet.”
He'd have managed better
If he'd had it planned
So why'd he choose such a backward time
In such a strange land?
If he'd come today he could have reached a whole nation
Israel in 4BC
Had no mass communication...
Churchill was most popular among potential Conservative voters, men, the over-35s, and the English. Jesus, meanwhile, came first among Labour voters and Scots. But the two are a statistical dead-heat with Liberal Democrats, women and the under 35s.
Famous female figures like Elizabeth I (17%) and Joan of Arc (8%) were less popular, and women were much more likely to follow female figures.
The poll revealed that most people would much rather follow someone inspiring than evil — with Jesus, Martin Luther King (24%) and John F Kennedy (23%) comfortably outscoring Adolf Hitler (14%) and Jack the Ripper (13%). Hitler, however, holds a special fascination for men and the under 35s.
Young people were also much more likely to want to follow ‘difficult’ writers and thinkers than their parents: under 35s were more likely to follow Shakespeare — perhaps because his dialogue would be easier to understand if reduced to 140 characters. Noted wit Oscar Wilde was most popular among those who were frequent Twitter users.
The Top 20 people Twitterers want to follow:
Winston Churchill 34%
Charles Darwin 28%
Martin Luther King 24%
Leonardo Da Vinci 23%
William Shakespeare 20%
John F Kennedy 20%
Queen Elizabeth I 17%
Princess Diana 16%
Oscar Wilde 16%
Mahatma Gandhi 15%
Adolf Hitler 14%
Jack the Ripper 13%
Marilyn Monroe 12%
Eve (as in Adam and Eve) 11%
Che Guevara 10%
Joan of Arc 8%
Marie Antoinette 5%
Frankly, as far as Cranmer is concerned, the lower down one comes on this list, the greater the compliment.