In January I swiped my thumb, took the plunge and changed my Instagram settings from private to public. Entering a world washed in the Clarendon filter, I went Truss Unchained.
With each photo of me sitting in tornado jets, whizzing down zip wires or on the front bench I received more questions asking “what’s behind this?”. Well I’m happy to answer some of those for Red Box readers who, I trust, are already following me.
We may hear all sorts of things about the dangers of the internet, from it destroying your attention span to ruining family life. And indeed I’m known as the phone jailer at my house for locking my daughter’s phone in a cash deposit box.
But I see a huge upside — social media has created all sorts of exciting possibilities and a brave new world. It’s brought lots of younger people into politics and it has shaken up debate. As far as I’m concerned that’s a good thing. And I want to be part of it.
After all, everyone else was having fun with my original material. My patriotic obsession with British cheese (yes I still love it!) and my desire to sell more trotters to the Chinese had become a meme.
When I caught my daughters watching it on YouTube at home – I decided it was time to embrace the enthusiasm! What’s surprised me is how much I’ve enjoyed it — it’s given me more freedom (within the confines of collective responsibility obvs . . .)
And freedom is the big battle in British politics. There’s a bunch of people who want to tell us what to do — whether its nationalising industries and controlling our money, curtailing our ability to say what we think or telling us how to live our lives.
They are also incredible doommongers about modern Britain. Listening to the average opposition speech, you’d think that we were living in some nuclear-war ravaged wasteland rife with corruption and bile.
I’m an optimist about the future and love the teeming, creative, excitement of modern Britain from the vape shops to the vegan bars from the Deliveroo-eaters to the craft brewers.
I can use Insta to show my passion for burgers and beaches — but I’m not telling anyone else to enjoy the same things as me.
People growing up in Britain now have unprecedented freedom to access information, communicate across the world or just post pictures of themselves online. There’s is no better place than social media to be making the case for more freedom and self-determination.
I’m also on a quest to get people excited about economic freedom and convert them to fiscal hawkery. I want to show the magic art of the spreadsheet practised by the Harry Potters at HM Treasury.
I’m finding Treasury civil servants quite camera-shy though. Any reading this article are encouraged to book an appointment with my office.
There’s been speculation that I’ve been “told off” for taking pics in forbidden places or for some of my more risqué captions. It’s not true but even if it was I wouldn’t stand for it. This is the new frontier and we’re all just living our lives.