Picky mix

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 16, 2006

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Friday, June 16th, 2006
9:12 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Bit of a grab-bag today. I do apologise…

Pandora: When David Miliband became the first Cabinet minister to launch an online diary a few months back, he boldly declared that he intended to “bridge the gap between politicians and the public”. What Miliband failed to mention was just how much the “blog” would be costing the British taxpayer. According to research by the Liberal Democrats’ urbane front bencher, Chris Huhne, the amount is somewhere approaching 40,000 pounds a year. Huhne has come to this whopping figure after tabling a written question to the recently promoted Environment Secretary’s office earlier this month to ask what sort of manpower was involved in maintaining the site. He was told that two members of staff employed by Defra had recently dedicated as much as 40 per cent of their office time working on it. So far, claims Huhne, this also means the blog has cost around 1 pound a word to upkeep. “How can it cost 40,000 pounds a year of taxpayers’ money for staff to capture David Miliband’s hot air on climate change?” he says. Ever since the blog was launched to great fanfare back in March, it’s been heavily criticised. Some politicos complained that the content was too boring, while others claimed it was failing to attract intelligent debate on its message postings. A spokesman for Miliband said yesterday: “I don’t quite know how Chris Huhne worked out that figure. At the moment, we think it’s going to be a small percentage of one existing member of staff’s time.”

I think that’s more than a bit unfair… David Miliband may be a total moron (or a devious little bugger) for spending taxpayers’ money on the blog, thereby eliminating the possibility of any meaningful debate, but if we know the exercise is a total waste of money, does it really matter exactly how much money is being wasted?

No… wait… before you answer that, consider that David has made the shortlist for the New Statesman New Media Awards 2006. Surely that alone…? No? OK, let’s move on, then….

Backing Blair has made the shortlist for the New Statesman New Media Awards 2006. But PledgeBank deserves to win in the Advocacy category, and probably will.

Now, onto a true work of genius…

The Surrey branch of Conservative Future has a website that’s firmly stuck in the 20th century. Oh, and they appear to have a small problem with server security. If you’re quick, you’ll spot some special changes to the ‘About Us’ page. (Note – the use of this particular holding image could be intentional… but that would be even sadder still.)

Yes, that’s our Mike Chambers who appears on this website… but while Mike may be a gifted web designer, he doesn’t appear to have built this wonderful corner of the interwebs; this looks to be the work of Tom Stoddart and Ranil Jayawardena. How do I know that? View source.

1 Comment

  1. irritant says

    Backing Blair deserves to win. It’s a cracking site and the videos were exceptionally good. The one (I think was) called Drawing the Line made my eyes well up every time I seen it.Congratulations.

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