Twitter. Every time I uphold it as the virtuous harbinger of the free-thinking free world and the acceptable face of Social Media, some halfwit Youth Police Commissioner sullies the water and brings the whole mechanism into disrepute. As, in life, there are good and bad everywhere, so in Twitter, for every @prodnose bringing light and beautiful randomness into people’s lives there’s an @youthpcc doing the polar opposite.

My dad is judge and jury on most things. An excellent evaluator, he can usually be relied upon to sum things up in an instant. Usually, as I say, he’s correct. I think he first heard of Twitter when the whole KP brouhaha was kicking off last summer. ‘Bloomin’ thing,’ he grumped as the unseemly episode got sorrier by the day, ‘should ban it. What they messing about with that for anyway? They should be concentrating on scoring runs and taking wickets.’ A good point very well made, but that was it for him. There was no comeback for the little blue bird. In fact I think he made some further comment involving a twelve bore or something, such was his distaste.

It had been quiet on the Twitter scene, for the most part, in the news for a while. Then yesterday’s news happened. Just before Countryfile, Dad learned of the undoing of the country’s first Youth Police Commissioner. In the new job just a few days, her mucky fingers had been burned, courtesy of her potty mouth via her comments on Twitter. I don’t think he said much about Twitter this time only because he was more horrified that a delinquent Adele tribute act was earning an unsubstantiated salary for doing, well, probably not very much indeed and attracting a lot of unhelpful publicity for it as a result. But I know Twitter will be blamed next time he’s down the Lion.

Against such evidence, it can be hard to present a convincing argument for Twitter’s force for good to the cynics. There are a lot of morons saying very stupid, very terrible things on there.

I don’t follow any ‘popular entertainers’ or footballers as a result (unless they’re retired heroic Hatters centre forwards or cricket-loving, old-Wembley ending, retired German holding midfielders). However, the other day I stumbled upon @WesPFCNFS.

Here is a tweeter, indeed, blogger, who belongs firmly in the ‘force for good’ category. Essentially, Steffi Wes Cricket devotes her life to following her cricketing countrymen in their exploits all over the world. Nothing particularly odd in that you may say, except Steffi Wes is German.

I had lots of experience of Germans travelling around the Antipodes. In fact, such is their prevalence in that part of the world, I wouldn’t batter an eyelid if, when I next return to Auckland, the motorway signs all have German subtitles on them just to make it easier. To a man, their indifference to our great game seeped out every time I mentioned what I was doing over there. Some were better than others, some, bless them (Hello Patricia! Hello Anja!), curiously even came to matches with me.
For the most part, the reaction of one bloke in a hostel in Dunedin summed it up. “Cricket? Pah! Vee Chermans chust don’t see ze point,” he spat in Prince Ludwig from Blackadder II pantomime-baddy tones.

Thankfully, for her followers and readers, Steffi Wes does see the point. Smitten by cricket since her accidental introduction to the sport at the first Ashes match in Cardiff, Steffi Wes has made it her goal to bring to our attention the fortunes of the German national team. Currently playing in an ICC World Cricket League Division Seven Tournament in Botswana, ‘The Germs’ currently sit bottom of their group below sides like Vanuatu, Fiji, the great Dotun Olatunji’s Nigeria and the host nation.
The developing game is as much part of cricket’s soul as the first morning of a Test match at Lords’ and Steffi Wes through her tweets and blog posts is helping to bring it into the lives of cricket fans who wouldn’t have considered cricket life outside of the Test arena, the IPL, the state or county game.

There is a game going on out there; everyday (pretty much) and everywhere. Thanks to Steffi Wes and people like her devoted to the smaller cricketing nations we can enjoy their triumphs and travails as much as our own teams.

Forget the unsavoury idiots and ugly incidents that make the headlines from time to time; Twitter is a force for good, definitely. Go The Germs.