Women's Minister Victoria Atkins has jumped gleefully aboard the online abuse bandwagon, claiming she was forced off Twitter by 'death threats and nastiness'. But here's the thing....it don't add up. Far from it, in fact.
This alleged abuse - we sought it here, we sought it there - we did not find it anywhere.
Ms Atkins was widely featured in the MSM last week, prompting howls of outrage at the heinous attacks on her, presumably by the massed ranks of thuggish lefty trolls. Curious, and of course sympathetic, the Prole Star set out to investigate what horrible abuse had been hurled. And we found.....a distinct lack of it.
In fact, we found virtually no trace of Ms Atkins on Twitter at all.
Of course, last week's MSM stories said she had deleted her Twitter account (although it is plainly still there)
So, onwards to the extremely useful site Politwoops, which archives tweets deleted by MPs, to see what Ms Atkins might have wiped in her terrified retreat from Twitter. There was nothing, no record of anything tweeted or deleted, just one solitary mention of @vmatkins by her fellow MP Sarah Newton, over three years ago.
A search of just her name found a number of mentions by her fellow MPs, none of whom used or appeared to be aware of any Twitter handle pertaining to her.
Not wishing to be accused of being less than thorough, we tried out a few more possible usernames that might have been used. No luck there.
Even if a user deletes all their tweets, their username will still be visible in replies or mentions of them by other users. This, we thought, is where the elusive abuse would be found. However, although a few were critical, none that we saw could be called abusive, and most consisted of tweets from constituents asking her to address a particular issue or take a stance in parliamentary debates.
They did have one thing in common, however - unlike the majority of MPs, Ms Atkins had not replied to or even acknowledged any of the people who had tried to communicate with her. Answer came there none.
And so to MPsonTwitter.co.uk where we again found Ms Atkins noticeably absent from the list, and her parliamentary colleagues apparently unaware of any Twitter presence - although that did not deter Ben Bradley (who given recent events should perhaps know better) from tweeting the 'abuse scandal'.
Aside from mentions of her name, where we were again unable to spot any death threats, she is - and so far as we have been able to determine has always been - Twinvisible. And apparently others also think so, as evidenced by this recent tweet about her allegedly misleading statements to Parliament on the subject of cannabis.
There is, unsurprisingly, no mention of a Twitter account on her website either - and a search via the excellent Wayback machine shows that there was no mention a year ago. Of course it could be that she has a superefficient staff team who have worked their fingers to the bone to wipe all trace of her from the Twitterverse - it could be, but for what it's worth, we at the Prole Star are a bit skeptical about that.
So what's the explanation? Is it 'Schrodinger's abuse' which exists because the MP and MSM say it does and people believe it - even though it actually doesn't?
Or perhaps, proof of the existence of a parallel universe in which the unfortunate Ms Atkins is constantly harangued - and from which she has presumably become detached and fallen into this one?
That she, as a woman, would use the anniversary of women's suffrage to propagate more smears - well, I don't think there are words for that.
Something rotten in the state of Louth....?
The Prole Star has contacted Ms Atkins (via email, not Twitter) for her comments to clarify matters, but at the time of writing had received no response
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