For the past couple of days, I’ve been competing in the inaugural EU Twitter Fight Club, where tweeps from different parts of the (notional) European public sphere have been trying to show off their tweeting ability (very broadly defined). To call it a pleasure would be a stretch, but it’s certainly been informative for me, both in connecting to new individuals and in revisiting some old debates.
One underlying theme that I’ve observed has been the relative importance of logic and emotion in the debating European integration. The launch of UKIP’s poster campaign on Tuesday was a case in point: on the one hand, the party tapped into anxiety about jobs and immigration, while simultaneously throwing figures behind it. Critics immediately pointed out the holes in those numbers and spoofed the posters, in turn producing counter-critiques from others sceptics (see the results here). Likewise, the reassuring face of a young woman in the (brief) manifesto – communicating the party’s openness and unstuffiness – was undermined by the discovery that she works as the party’s events manager. Read more