- - Sunday, December 3, 2017


The old World-War-II-era posters with the warning “Loose Lips Sink Ships” may need to be updated given Twitter and the various forms of “social” media that abound. This is especially true for politicians.

We have all sent off that email too quickly and sometimes to the whole office — although the worst that probably happened when we did was having to find a new job. The concern now is what happens when messages are sent by world leaders without apparent thought. The passing comment in 1984 by President Reagan, for example, that they had solved the Russian problem (“We begin bombing in five minutes”) nearly started a nuclear war.

The modern version of quick-fire commentary is President Trump’s Twitter account, which is perhaps overused. His latest controversial tweet — “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom” — seemed to support British right-wing organizations and can be considered a poor choice.

The words of our leaders should inspire and provide a direction for their citizens to follow, so perhaps they should be few, significant and released through official channels. We do live in a world of Twitter and Facebook but any significant messages can be resent by a number of systems.

Remember, leaders: Stop, think, rethink and then speak.


Melbourne, Australia

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