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May 14, 2005

Kate Hoey (Proxy Blog)

Labour MP for Vauxhall

Proxy blog by: Richard Pope and others

Launched: May 14, 2005

Format: Movable Type (custom template with snarky header)

Comments: Yes
Trackback: No
Syndication: Yes

Set up after the 2005 election in response to Kate Hoey's apparent technophobia, this proxy-blog is a mix of passive reporting (via Google News, Technorati and, the occasional stir, and links to her declared interests and voting record.

This proxy-blog is unique in its use of a domain name, but there appears to be a valid reason for this...

Kate Hoey represents an area stretching from London Waterloo to Clapham Common (which includes the area around Brixton and Stockwell stations). Not the most affluent part of town, but it's certainly wired throughout - and by no means a distant backwater where electricity is hard to come by and Teh Interwebs is a distant dream.

However, Kate Hoey's heart and mind appears to be in the countryside, rather than with her constituents. In late July 2005, the author of the proxy-blog set up this pledge at Pledgebank: "I will contact Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, asking why she has time to become chairman of the Countryside Alliance when she only attended 55% of votes as our Member of Parliament. but only if 10 other Lambeth residents will too."

(The author got his 10, and 6 of the resulting letters can be read here.)

This disregard for her constituents extends to communication. Despite living in an urban area where a great many of her constituents have internet access, Kate Hoey has completely failed to establish any kind of online presence beyond a profile page at the Labour website. And she's been an MP for this same area since 1992 (the first website for an MP was built in 1994).

The site has an open offer on the front page for Kate Hoey to take up the website herself, and this offer has been reinforced here with a further offer to cover hosting costs.

Personally, I don't think they have a snowball's chance in hell. Kate Hoey would first need a desire to address her constituents, followed by the will and intelligence to do so online. Sadly, she seems to lack the required desire and any kind of will beyond her own agenda. As for intelligence... well, the less said about that, the better.

The use of the domain name can in no way be considered a cybersquat - especially when you consider:

1. There is an open offer on the table for her to take control of it via the established proxy-blog
2. The motivation/opportunity for her to secure the domain name for herself has been there for the better part of a decade and she has failed to do anything about it

Posted by timireland on May 14, 2005 12:22 PM in the category Blogs: Proxies


Lambeth Labour's response to the proxyblog:

We have no intention of creating a 'blog' for Kate.

Whilst this may be your preference for on-line engagement from MPs this is
not what we are aiming to provide.

Kate has been committed to creating a website for some time now, however for
a variety of reasons this has been delayed. Please be assured that going
forward there will first be a website created followed by updates of her
activities in the ward and beyond.

Posted by: memespring at January 14, 2006 3:31 PM

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