If twitter accounts are anything to go by, then Jim Nicholson, the Ulster Unionist Party’s lone representative in Europe, doesn’t really seem to care. His last tweet was on August 15, 2009. The Euro elections were also in 2009. Since his re-election he hasn’t much bothered to tweet. Prior to his last tweet on August 15 he tweeted 196 times. Since then, nothing.
I suspect the main reason for this is that Nicholson has never actually mastered the tweet. I suspect someone was tweeting for him. His twitter account links to VoteforChangeNI.com – a site that was created by the Conservative Party and UUP. But the domain, no doubt, was not renewed.
However, there is something bizarrely eloquent about this dumbed twitter account. The last tweet, with a dead link, says simply, “Labour letting down NI’s Pensioners.” And then Mr Nicholson says nothing else. Struck mute and his 1,116 followers left hanging, waiting for the next instalment, the next rajor-sharp tweet that never comes.
But the question hanging in the sky, with the birds, is does Mr Nicholson know he has a twitter account – and does he care? I suspect not on both counts. And why does he not care? The following extract might help explain.
“MEPs are paid an average £83,000 per year, compared to MPs in Britain, who have an annual salary of £65,738. They also receive a daily “subsistence allowance” of £265, they can be refunded up to £3,600 per year for other travel outside their own country, and be reimbursed for up to 24 return journeys within their own country. Members also receive up to £242,000 annually in staff salaries and office expenses and benefit from a generous health care and pension system. It is estimated that an MEP can cost around £400,000-a-year.”