Irish MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Phil Hogan stepped down as EU Trade Commissioner last week, following the much publicised #golfgate – he attended a golf dinner for 80 guests, after having first taken a seeming grand tour of Ireland, including restricted counties, such as Kildare. His resignation left a vacant position in the EU, for which President of the European Commission, Dr Ursula von der Leyen, has asked nominations be taken, one male, one female.
This specification hasn’t stopped many wags suggesting that Jedward – musical artists John and Edward Grimes – be given the job, possibly as a joint role. To the unaware this might seem to have come out of left field, but in recent months the pair have been using their Twitter account to highlight a number of social and political issues.
Starting back in June this year, the Grimes twins marched in a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles, where they were quarantining. Wearing masks and maintaining social distance, they chanted while walking around Hollywood for five hours, and were also called on to participate in a “white wall” against police. In July they followed this up with a tweet calling out social media influencers who chose to travel to Ibiza for sponsorships, all the while being seen partying, at a time when Spain wasn’t on the list of “green light” countries deemed safe for travel from Ireland or the UK. Speaking to Eoghan McDermott and Doireann Garrihy on Irish radio station RTE2fm, Edward said,
“I came to the realisation that it’s so hard for people staying at home, and it’s even harder when people are tweeting a picture every minute going, “look at me look at me”. Especially social media influencers with their thousands of followers, they have so much impact, they should instead be having staycations, so we’re all making progress. There are certain countries that are not on the green list [of safe countries to visit] , and it’s not good for people to see others on their timeline going to [Ibiza] to sell bikinis, or “swipe up now to buy this”.
Zoom forward to late August and once again Jedward became political on Twitter, with a much publicised call out of a march in Dublin by people opposed to wearing masks, and denying the health dangers of Covid-19. Seeing a video of the protesters outside Dublin’s Custom House, tweeted by former Corrs band member, Jim Corr, who was in attendance, Jedward tweeted,
Dear Dublin Anti Mask Protest! Get the fuck inside you selfish low lives
sincerely the rest of the country
— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) August 22, 2020
This was followed up by calling out Jim Corr himself for his part in the event:
— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) August 22, 2020
Much has been made of the tweets since that time, with the resounding response being one of agreeing that Jedward were doing as much, if not more, for the country than the Government themselves. When Phil Hogan resigned, the twins played up on this by joking that they were offering themselves up for the role:
We have more EU connections than some people! We did do Eurovision twice! @vonderleyen
— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) August 25, 2020
Dr Ursula von der Leyen showed she has a sense of humour by “liking” the tweet, putting @planetjedward in good company among her favourite tweets, alongside the likes of the Dalai Lama.
Now, the International Trade Department of the EU have joined in, with a post commemorating their 50,000 followers on Twitter. Featuring an animation including government leaders and officials from all over the world, they were two surprise inclusions:
We've hit 50.000 followers! Thank you for joining in on all things trade. Let's take the conversation global. But we'd like to know more about you. Have you filled out our survey? Click on the link and win your own bespoke PixelMe: https://t.co/gcAaMacMuQ pic.twitter.com/IKFwmeEYu8
— EU Trade 🇪🇺 (@Trade_EU) September 4, 2020
While we’re sure all this is still “for the lols”, 2020 has taken a lot of unexpected turns, and while officially the The Taoiseach Micheal Martin has nominated Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell for the role, if it was suddenly announced that Jedward had been offered it instead as a job-share we wouldn’t bat an eyelid.
Watch this space.