Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Camden Liberal Democrats' have produced a cookbook, Serve a Liberal Helping, has been available since September but made headlines (well Have I Got New For You). Their website describes it as a "best-selling collection of recipes by Lib Dem luminaries and members" which "captures the essence of the party's energy and joie-de-vivre". It is claimed that it is "the ideal cookbook for those who love to share great food in the midst of busy lives". Well I guess MPs should be best placed to judge on both counts. Highlights are:
- Learn from assorted members of parliament and councillors how to cook great food in a hurry
- Enjoy Charles Kennedy's recipe for a breakfast smoothie
- Discover the festive secret Lord Navnit Dholakia has not told his friends to this day
- Read an old family recipe contributed by Lord Bill Rodgers, never before written down
- Find out what Lembit Opik MP likes to nibble while watching Question Time
Err interesting, not sure how widely this is beng publicised but it is something that seems to have gone by the wayside in British politics - a party doing more than simply being obsessed with happenings in Westminster. Though I have to admit being a little nervous about what Lembit nibbles on during Question Time
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Very regal. My favourite, the one I would most prefer to be sent is that of Vince Cable (below), it just has the right aesthetics for me personally. Though he wont be leader of the Liberal Democrats on Christmas day he had the privilege of choosing the party card, it is quite traditional while also being inclusive (i.e. non-religious) as most of the cards are culturally christmassy as opposed to being religious.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Hark the herald tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest ye merry, merchants,
May you make the yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
1. 7.78 Vince Cable
2. 7.44 David Cameron
3. 6.69 George Osborne
4. 6.66 Alex Salmond
5. 6.26 William Hague
6. 6.22 Michael Gove
7. 6.11 David Davis
8. 5.74 Chris Grayling
9. 5.30 Alan Duncan
10. 5.18 Chris Huhne
Given that Cable beats Huhne, while Nick Clegg is in 21st place, is the wrong person the favourite and the best candidate not standing. Maybe he was sticking the boot in effectively given the range of open goals Labour have left for balls to be kicked into.The bottom five are perhaps expected given the week Labour have had:
92. 2.53 Alistair Darling
93. 2.45 Des Browne
94. 2.41 Gordon Brown
95. 2.25 Douglas Alexander
96. 1.76 Harriet Harman
I thought you might appreciate a little more information about what we are going to do. If you're too busy right now - either poking people or playing Scrabulus - please do come back when you're feeling fighting fit and ready to digest the below...You're going to be a part of something very special - a revolution in how people access information about their elected members throughout the UK.
But, more than just information we're about establishing a two-way process between the elected and the electors, but we're not going to call it "a conversation". Part of the problem with other sites is that they tap into useful information and news, but then have to add their own twist to it, spoon feed it to you, or make you jump through party poltiical hoops to get at it. Then, they wrap it all up in a "conversation" and pretend that they're sewing democracy a new suit.
But, do elected members really have time to sit down and have a two-way "conversation" with somebody over the internet that probably isn't in their constituency? No, they've got better things to be doing with their time, and rightly so. So, what we're going to do is give them a platform that they'll like because it's going to increase their profiles without them having to trawl through masses of comments and data.
For the most part it'll gather the data automagically. For you, the dear old WebCommoner, it's going to provide you with more information and access to your elected member than you could shake a stick at. You'll be able to hear directly from them with our blogging platform and blog aggregator, which will update every five minutes of the day - Imagine the old teleprinter they use on the telly for the football results - It'll be like that. Short. Snappy and too the point. Like a newswire for politics, but open to everybody.
What's more, you'll be able to see all the rising political issues as they develop. Remember "Donorgate" and "Discgate"? For the first time, you will be able to track these issues from the first time they rear their ugly heads until their conclusion - whatever it may be. Well, we hope that none of them result in the collapse of British democracy as that would kinda make us all redundant.
And if that wasn't enough, and oh how we like to spoil you, we're going to develop a daily podcasting service that will be available on the site at an amazing 6am every morning. We'll call it WebCommons Today or something like that and it'll basically tell you what's been happening the day before and forecast the day ahead. It's a bit like the Shipping Forecast for politics. BBC Radio 4 hold on to your hat!
Finally, and this has to be the icing on the cake, we're going to provide an indepth performance tracker in the site, which is going to let you see how the public at large perceive the performance of an elected member. Bit like a stock price for politicians... How much is your MP worth?
The site is not going to work unless we make some pretty hefty relationships with commentators and elected members. We're not just restricting it to Commons Members either. If you're an elected member in any public body in the UK you can bet you'll be on WebCommons. We should have called it WebElectedMembers, but that hasn't really got the same ring to it, has it?
Thanks for tuning in to this rather looooooooong update. Hopefully, you're still concious enough to make the decision as to how involved you'd like to get. If you're really keen, just drop Mike Rouse your CV on firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know what interests you about politics and what you're up for.
Thanks a gozillion!
WebCommons"Bringing order to chaos"
PS: Share the Page with a friend!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
- what do popularity ratings mean, and can they convert to votes?
- has Labour lost public confidence completely or is it the economy that determines victory or defeat?
- is Cameron perceived as a prime minister, and does the public have confidence in his front bench team?
Friday, November 30, 2007
Not easy to spot that it is a satire, but by framing it as a Party Political Broadcast, by using the logo and by publishing it without any context, i.e. it being embedded within a comedy programme or website, does this cross a boundary? Is it defamatory or just satirical? And, if there is no regulation, does this then allow highly negative and defamatory messages to be posted, viewed and circulated, by parties to denigrate their opponents, without any necessity to identify the source.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
In Singapore no such problems seem to exist. The Media Development Agency, a conglomerate of the Singapore Broadcasting Authority, the Films and Publications Department, and the Singapore Film Commission (so kind of like a merger of the BBC and BAFTA) have decided they need to promote their creativity to a global audience using a rap song and video. What do you think?
All together now Yes Yes Y'all We don't stop... and who else could get 'My tasks include internal systems integration HRFIS, PMP to iTRAX' into a rap song - so is this available on iTunes?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
- Any time your own electorate is mentioned, you must drink.
- Any time a number of one billion or more is mentioned, you must drink.
- Any time Pauline Hanson's name is mentioned, or a reference to One Nation is made, you must drink.
- If Pauline Hanson actually appears on TV, you must completely finish the drink you are holding. If you are not holding a drink, you must immediately fetch your next drink and consume it in its entirety.
- Any time a supporter wearing a "Kevin07" T-shirt is shown on TV, you must drink.
- Any time a cute/attractive politician appears on TV, you must drink. (Note: this rule is not expected to come into play, with the possible exception of the Greens' Larissa Waters.)
- Any time the phrase "working families" is uttered, by politician or TV commentator, you must drink: once for yourself, and once for each of your children.
- Any time the phrase "balance of power" is uttered, you must drink AND eat.
- Any time a politician claims victory on TV, you must drink.
- Any time a politician concedes defeat, you must drink twice. (Once for their sorrow, once for our joy)
- If in doubt as to the meaning or application of any of the above rules, or any time you are thirsty, just have a bloody drink.
- If John Howard wins, you must drink until your feeling of disappointment goes away.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
"On behalf of Chris Huhne's campaign, I sincerely apologise that a background briefing document of quotations from Nick Clegg on public services reform and proportional representation was sent out with a wholly inappropriate title. There is no excuse for this. The document title had not been approved before the document was sent out and neither Chris nor I were aware of it. In no way does the title of the document as sent to the Politics Show represent Chris Huhne's opinion and he completely dissociates himself from it."
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
His last foray on Youtube is clearly attempting to position Howard as a nice guy, caring about disabled children, the environment and who listens. But the reaction is perhaps not the one he wanted.
Comments on Youtube suggest his video may have won over the orangutans (the orange vote), or that it promotes Daniel Clark more than Howard. Daniel is the young disabled boy who wrote to Howard to ask him to intervene on behalf of the apes. Watch it, it makes many political video advertisements seem quite engaging.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Queen's Speech is the first burst of permanent campaigning that emerges from the new parliamentary year, if offers each of the parties the opportunity to set out their own stalls and of course push over the stalls of their opponents if possible. So what are they talking about.
Labour's is the touchy-feely caring style Gordon Brown is offering. The focus on education, equality and the NHS invokes traditional party values and allows him to position himself as a leader in touch with concerns and caring about the people.
The Conservatives adopt a slightly critical tone, though use the opportunity to present their front bench team and highlight their alternative approach to politics.
The Liberal Democrats lack a charismatic front man, but they also set out their stall while suggesting there are too many similarities between Cameron and Brown and their parties. It is a little cheap but makes their point.
As is typical, the governing party take a wholly positive note and Brown is self-promotional, opposing parties refer negatively to the government, the Liberal Democrats also referencing the Conservatives. But it is at least refreshing to note that they set out their stall as opposed to simply rubbishing opponents. I make this point given that I am sure I recall that a couple of years ago Labour offered as their queen's speech broadcast an appearance by Dave the Chameleon, a wholly personal attack on Cameron. The problem is which is more memorable, these three selections of talking head shots which my students described as dull, or the negative approach that was funny and memorable; should we despair?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
It turns out she assumed he was a plumber; apparently!