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Thursday 17th May 2012 | 17:06
Lyn Brown's infamous text message proved perhaps that whips can be more transparent than thought.
But in a lovely piece of ironic timing, as it happens today is also the day that a brand new Twitter account is being launched: @labourwhips.
Long planned but finally live tonight, the account aims to build on the party's success with @LabourLordsUK, which gives regular updates on the activities of the shadow frontbench team in the Lords.
With all of the heavy lifting done in the Upper House in recent months - on the Laspo Bill and on the NHS Bill for example - @LabourLordsUK has been invaluable in shining a light on a chamber normally thought of as sleepy and technophobic.
With the focus back on the Commons in the wake of the Queen's Speech, @labourwhips will try to dispel a bit of the mystery of the Opposition Whips' Office and give updates on the the business of the House.
It could prove very useful in giving realtime information on the breakdown of division results, abstentions, timings of votes and other bits of Parliamentary business that often get lost.
Of course, the darker arts of the Whips' Office are unlikely to feature, so we won't get updates on whose fingernails have been withdrawn after a rebellion. Then again, in Opposition, rebellions are not exactly common.
The new approach is being overseen by Shadow Chief Whip Rosie Winterton, who remains behind the scenes and won't be setting up her own Twitter account. But Ed Miliband has often been grateful for her frequent texts helping him to plan guerilla warfare in the Commons.
With Urgent Questions a frequent weapon, as well as Opposition Debates (as with the BSkyB bid and Stephen Hester bonus) making the weather, what happens in the Whips' Office matters more than ever.
Anyway, @labourwhips will have as its avatar a pic of the Oppostiion Whips' Office itself (see above). The door is ajar, but not fully open: a perfect symbol for this wee innovation in openness.
The pictures on the wall are, as tradition dictates, of former Labour leaders. If you look really closely, you can see Keir Hardie...
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