There are some thought provoking comments on the Polis page of the Dysfunctional Cafe
about using blogs as a form of political communication. Some of the points made are ones that I was already planning to blog on so here goes:"won't work if simply an on-line Labour Party newsletter as will be of little interest to constituents"
A blog is NOT a newsletter. It's main benefit is that it is totally up to date and it is TWO WAY. We want to hear what people say. I want the blog to have a role in making policy.
But I also want to say that they must get some pretty poor newsletters. Because of my job I know how to do newsletters and the most important bit is making sure they are relevant to the readers. So I check by actually asking constituents if they read them and what they want to see. And then doing it. It would appear that your councillors don't.
But the problem with newsletters is that they take too long to produce, are expensive to print (local political parties of all colours are by and large skint!) and are hard to distribute (needing activisits with spare time on their hands - a dying breed).?they?re going to have to take risks? reveal their emotions? go ?off-message?
I?ve already stated in my press interviews that simply doing a blog is a risk! Tom Watson MP who also does a blog
has said the same thing.
The bit about going ?off-message? I think is a view coloured by the media. I never think about being on message or off message. I give my considered view about what I think is in the best interests of my constituents.
That usually means that I?m on message because by and large I think the Labour Party nationally and locally is doing a bloody good job.
Sure enough is never enough, you can always do better. But that is exactly doing. Trying harder, Constant improvement. Listening and delivering.
Now if you think that?s being ?on message? then tough. I think it?s standing up for the people I represent.
I know how devestating it would be for the most vulnerable people in society if the Tories ever came back to power. And I know what a shambles the Liberals would make of running things - you just have to look at the mess they made in most councils where they won control off Labour (luckilly temporarily in most cases as voters realised what a mistake they had made e.g. Hull and Sheffield).Political Education
I?m not sure that the point of my blog is political education. Some of the issues raised such as how a majority political group works, how councillors and officers work together and resolving conflicts between local and citywide issues are probably of more interest to at least partial politicial-junkies rather than my residents.
But that said I know that some of my future posts will give insights into some of these things.