The first political resignation to reference selfies and a Twitter fandom

Ed Miliband, leader of the UK’s Labour Party, has just resigned after failing to become Prime Minister in yesterday’s General Election. That’s par for the course, but elements of his speech weren’t.

As well as name checking colleagues and thanking party workers, he made time to talk about selfies and a Twitter fandom dedicated to him:

Thank you for the selfies. Thank you for the support. And thank you for the most unlikely cult of the 21st century – Milifandom.

#Milifandom was coined by a 17-year-old student and first reported by BuzzFeed. Meanwhile, the public’s desire to grab selfies with the politician and share them in support of him, became another press obsession.

While cynics – and I’m usually one of them – will sneer at the injection of frivolity into a serious statement, the phenomenon shows just how much internet culture has permeated our political process. Our leaders can’t ignore it.

Best wishes to Ed Miliband in his new career as a full-time meme.

Image credit: BBC News

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