Puffles’ Twitter feed follows over 1000 accounts, ranging from individual people who I happen to have met to the largest of global institutions. For those of you not on Twitter, there is a ‘tradition’ that some have on Fridays where they recommend other accounts to their followers – otherwise known as ‘Follow Friday’ with the hashtag #ff
The problem with an account like Puffles is that wanting to recommend so many accounts for a myriad of different reasons can end up spamming accounts and a number of followers have stopped following as a result of the deluge of tweets. Hence the theme of posts under “Puffles Twitter Lists” contain just a handful of people who I think are worth following – with reasons why.
Elected representatives and holders of public office – by party (in alphabetical order)
- John Redwood MP – I don’t agree with his politics but a sizeable section of Tory party activists and backbenchers subscribe to his views.
- Robert Halfon MP – Representing Harlow, one of the more active MPs in the world of social media. He also sits on the Commons Public Administration Select Committee – which covers issues of interest to me.
- Louise Mensch MP – Representing Corby, she’s like Marmite to Puffles’ followers & polarises opinion. Sitting on the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, she’s essential watching on the #Hackgate enquiries.
- Damian Collins MP – for Folkstone and Hythe – essential for football fans as he’s on the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee too, and is going after FIFA corruption in a big way.
- Bernard Jenkin MP – one of the Euro-sceptics on the Conservative backbenches. He is however very influential as Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee – which is why I keep tabs on him.
- Rory Stewart MP – former civil servant and army officer who would make a fine Foreign Secretary.
- Zac Goldsmith MP – essential following for environmentalists. Notable for deposing of Susan Kramer in the 2010 general election.
- Dr Sarah Wollaston MP – former GP who sits on the Health Select Committee
- Cllr Nick Clarke – one for people in Cambridgeshire, he’s the Conservative Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.
- Cllr Shona Johnstone – another one for people in Cambridgeshire, a Conservative Councillor on Cambridgeshire County Council
- Cllrs Joanne Beavis and Stephen Canning – both of Braintree District Council who I joined presenting at a Twitter training session for Cambridgeshire councillors at South Cambs District Council in late February 2012.
- Caroline Lucas MP – for Brighton Pavilion (where I used to live) she achieved a major breakthrough for the Greens by becoming their first MP at the 2010 general election. One of the best constituency MPs and campaigning MPs in the country.
- Keith Taylor MEP – South East England, I’ve been keeping tabs on him for over a decade when I met him over ten years ago when he was both a councillor and candidate for Brighton Pavilion in the 2001 and 2005 general elections.
- Alison Johnstone MSP and Patrick Harvie MSP – two Scottish Green MSPs in the Scottish Parliament
- Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson for the London Assembly
- Cllr Jason Kitcat of Brighton and Hove Council – worth following as he’s an executive councillor where the Greens form a minority administration in the first council run by the party. Cllrs Alex Phillips & Ben Duncan also tweets regularly from Brighton and Hove.
- Cllr Richard Mallender – Chair of Nottingham Green Party.
- Cllr Gus Hoyt – the first Green councillor elected in North Bristol
- Cllr Adam Pogonowski – one of the youngest councillors in the country who broke new ground by becoming one of the first Green councillors for Cambridge.
- John McDonnell MP – longtime campaigner on trade union and workers’ rights issues, as a former PCS Union rep, there were times when it felt like he was the only person in Parliament that was standing up for civil servants
- Barry Gardiner MP – former Mayor of Cambridge, stall-holder of ‘The Bottle Stall’ at the Christmas and summer fetes of my old primary school and generally someone who was a very familiar face in my childhood who ‘made it big’ later on following election to Brent North. Currently Ed Miliband’s climate change & environment special envoy
- Chuka Umunna MP and Dr Stella Creasy MP – two of Labour’s finest constituency MPs – while it’s good for the former to be on Ed Miliband’s front bench, the Treasury Select Committee has lost out. Stella has been outstanding going after loan sharks and also sits on the Public Accounts Committee
- Tom Watson MP – When he was at Cabinet Office he sparked off interest in using data held by the public sector to improve public services. I’ve been keeping watch ever since. Now one of the key drivers (Along with Chris Bryant MP) of the investigations into phone hacking by the media
- Kerry McCarthy MP – Former councillor in Luton, now MP for Bristol and one of the shadow ministers keeping tabs on The Treasury
- Grahame Morris MP – Chair of Labour Left
- Barbara Keeley MP – On the Health Select Committee – as is Grahame Morris
- Richard Howitt MEP – the sole Labour MEP for East Anglia and the only MEP of East Anglia’s suite who I can find that is active on Twitter
- Cllr George Owers & Cllr Carina O’Reilly – Two younger councillors pounding the streets of Cambridge, and of the more active social media users on Cambridge City Council. He’s also doing a history PhD so one for historians of politics and political thought too. Cllr Tariq Sadiq (Cambridgeshire County Council) and Cllr Lewis Herbert can also be found on Twitter, but Labour types need to persuade them to tweet more!
- Cllr Kerri Prince – Town Councillor for Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council in Hertfordshire, elected while still doing her A-Levels. Just started university.
- Dr Julian Huppert MP – one of the few scientists in the Commons and one of the best constituency MPs in the country. For non-Cambridge dwellers he’s the Liberal Democrat representative on the powerful Home Affairs Select Committee
- Tim Farron MP (Lib Dem President) Don Foster MP, Jo Swinson MP, Greg Mulholland MP, Andrew George MP and Duncan Hames MP are other Lib Dem MPs worth keeping tabs on if you’re a Lib Dem watcher
- Andrew Duff MEP – for those keeping watch on the Lib Dems in Europe
- Cllr Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon – Cambridgeshire County Councillor and an academic at Birkbeck University of London – somewhere that I’d love to do an evening class at but procrastinated too much!
- Cllr Richard Kemp – of Liverpool Councillor and head of the Liberal Democrat Group in the Local Government Association
- Cllr Sarah Brown – Cambridge City Councillor who also covers feminism and equalities issues
- Cllrs Ian Manning, Neil McGovern and Amanda Taylor – the latter seems to have been around Cambridge politics for years – I seem to remember her name on election adverts from my teens
- Cllr Daisy Benson – of Reading Borough Council who I also rate as someone who is prepared to stand up for the Liberal Democrats in Twitter debates
- Cllr Mike Galloway – of Milton Keynes Lib Dems
- Nigel Farage MEP – UKIP leader, Bremner Bird and Fortune came up with the acronym “Understanding Kilroy’s Image Problem” – not a fan of his politics but he is a confident in front of the cameras and interviewers
- Leanne Wood AM – Plaid Cymru for South Wales Central – always useful to keep tabs on politics in the other elected assemblies.