Stars frontman Torquil Campbell gets into Twitter feud with Prime Minister spokesman Andrew MacDougall

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North Stars
December 13, 2012

Montreal-based indie rock group Stars is currently on tour in Europe to promote their new album, "The North," which received critical praise at home in Canada. Even the Director Of Communications for the Prime Minister's Office, Andrew MacDougall, is a fan, as he proved when he tweeted a few words of acclaim about "The North" last week.

"The whole Stars record is great but 'Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It' is the standout track," MacDougall wrote.

Little did he know that his tweet would spark an insult-ridden feud with Stars frontman Torquil Campbell, a highly vocal critic of the Stephen Harper administration.

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Campbell, who has also played with bands such as Broken Social Scene and Memphis, was alerted to MacDougall's tweet on Monday while the band was in Hamburg, Germany.

"@PMO_MacDougall please man. until you stop working for a sociopath who is ruining the country, leave our record alone. cheers," Campbell responded.

He then continued to bombard MacDougall with tweets, calling him a frat boy, pimp, "a bottom feeding, cynical footman for the most repellant figure in canadian history," and referring to all of the Conservative party as "a bunch of f---ing thugs."

It's rare for a political figure to participate in a feud with an artist so openly critical of an administration, but MacDougall kept the conversation going. After Campbell assumed that MacDougall had illegally downloaded the album for free, the politician corrected him.

"fully paid, good sir. I support artists by buying their albums and going to shows," MacDougall tweeted.

Campbell responded with more vitriol.

"@PMO_MacDougall i can't believe you're still tweeting me! shouldn't you be lying to a journalist or making mixtapes for chinese oil execs?" he tweeted. After MacDougall called the exchange "boring and predictable," Campbell seems to have had the last word.

"one thing you guys aren't is boring. you posess all the same ability to shock and surprise as a diagnosis of Chlamydia," Campbell wrote, ending with: "how am i doing, am i doing better? are you still bored? I'll happily continue if you promise to go to sleep. go to sleeeeep."

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Having previously called Prime Minister Harper "an evil man," it's not too shocking that Campbell responded in this way. This 40-year-old musician's fiery temper and sharp tongue are so well known that he even has a regular segment called "Rant OR Rave" on CBC Radio 1's entertainment show "Q" with host Jian Ghomeshi, which covers anything from sports, entertainment, and yes, even politics.

After all of that, though, it doesn't seem like Campbell and MacDougall will be in contact again any time soon.

"The tweets are there and I don't have anything to add. Apparently, [they're] not fans that I'm a fan," MacDougall told The Globe and Mail. There's no word about whether MacDougall plans to catch Stars as they do a 16-show-tour across Canada in March 2013.

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