You won't care.The Political Weblog Project is a collaborative effort designed to encourage MPs, Councillors and other elected officials to communicate more effectively online via the intelligent use of weblogs. Elected officials who wish to take part in this scheme must follow these simple rules that exist primarily for your own benefit:

Rule #1 - You must own (or be ready to purchase) your own domain name.
Rule #2 - You must use the technology to engage in two-way commmunication
Rule #3 - You must fund/source the weblog with your own money or resources.

Those who pledge to follow these rules will be provided with all the necessary assets and expertise at an extremely competitive rate.

What is a weblog?  |  Why two-way communication?  |  Why do I need my own domain?

More politicians need to be using weblogs properly. Maybe you can help.

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July 25, 2006

David Miliband weblog wins 2006 N00b Media Award

David Miliband's N00bOn the 24th of July 2006, the New Statesman announced the winners of their latest round of New Media Awards.

While they should be given credit for actually arriving at a decision or two this year, someone deserves a kick up the arse for their choice of keynote speaker; David Miliband MP.

Yet again, the New Statesman have shown their unique insight into political blogging by choosing as their most honoured guest the one MP who sets the worst example.

Yes, you guessed it;

David Miliband - WINNER - 2006 N00b Media Award

The N00b is a special award granted annually to the individual or body that shows the most ignorant, witless or callous approach to political weblogs or the online community at large.

This year the shortlist included Iain Dale (everyone's favourite latecomer 'expert') and Trevor Kavanagh (with his non-blog 'that politicians fear') but David Miliband was streets ahead for setting a terrible example that's sure to be followed:

1. David Miliband did not set up his blog under a dedicated domain name; he set it up as part of his departmental website.

So, when he changed departments, the blog had to move with him.

It used to be here:

And now it's here:

Later, it's going to be somewhere else. Maybe.

2. David Miliband did not pay for his blog himself, it was paid for by taxpayers.

The blog was built at a cost of 9,000. Or was it 40,000?

And it was built at a time when top-of-the-line blogs for MPs were up for grabs for as little as 700 (if, of course, they paid for it themselves).

This brilliant measure saved David a little bit of money (at considerable expense to the taxpayer) and protected him from any pesky party-political discussion. Which leads us to...

3. David Miliband passes off mild joshing and heckling as 'healthy debate'.

In his keynote speech at the NS awards, David read out a series of critical comments that 'proved' that open debate was permitted on his website... but each of them lacked that certain something that makes any exchange worthy of the title 'debate'; substance.

When David finished his award duties, we intercepted him as he dashed to his ministerial car. This is a full transcript of the exchange that followed (photo courtesy of Balders, who helped with the ambush):

David Miliband accepts his N00b

Tim: David! Don't go yet! We have an award for you!

David: For me?

Tim: Yes, we know you didn't score inside, but we run the Political Weblog Project, and we have our own annual award... The N00b! Would you mind posing for a photo as we present the trophy?

David: Great! Thank you. OK, then.

[Hands are shaken as photo is taken.]

Tim: I should explain; the N00b is awarded to the individual or organisation who has shown the most ignorant, witless or callous approach to political weblogs in the past year.

David: Er...

Tim: Your blog is a total waste of space. It sets a very poor example. By having taxpayers fund your weblog, you completely rule out any possibility of genuine debate. So...

David: Now, that's where you're wrong. People are allowed to make critical comments on my weblog.

Tim: But not party-political comments.

David: People are allowed to be critical on my weblog.

Tim: So they're allowed to object to what you have to say?

David: Yes.

Tim: So they're allowed to present alternate or opposing views?

David: Yes.

Tim: And what happens when they belong to another party or one of those alternative views involves the policy of another party?

David: Well, they're perfectly free to say what they want on their own website.

Tim: Pfft! Well, there you go, then. Money well spent. Congratulations, David... here's your award.

[An effort is made to present the trophy.]

David (somewhat testily): You'll have to take that out.

[David gestures to the fiver that forms part of the trophy. Here, we should point out that last year's trophy presented to the New Statesman included a funnel and compass, so they might one day be able to find their arseholes unaided... but this year's trophy included a funnel and a crisp fiver, because we thought that David knew exactly where he could stick it. Turns out we were wrong.]

Tim: What, the fiver?

David: Yes, I can't accept that.

Tim: OK, then.

[The fiver is extracted and David accepts what remains of the trophy with 'grace' and 'dignity'... before completing his dash to the car.]

Balders: You do realise that we now have photographic evidence of David Miliband accepting a fiver...?

Tim: But we both saw him refuse it. He wouldn't even touch it.

Balders: Ah yes, but we're both bloggers... and you know how notoriously unreliable we can be.

Tim: Point taken.

Posted by timireland on July 25, 2006 3:19 PM in the category Fighting Ignorance


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