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Monday, January 31, 2005

More league tables

The media's obsessions with league tables continued today with a Western Mail study of the workload of Welsh MPs. In the run-up to the General Election this is of particular interest of course, but how useful is it really?

Having regularly been in the top five of a similar activity list for AMs I know that these tables do not show the full picture. They often concentrate on measurable tasks such as the number of speeches or questions one has asked without being able to assess the efficacy of our representation. They never look at surgeries for example, at correspondence or at casework successes. They very rarely look at committee work and even less rarely at the number of meetings we hold with Council officials, local and national organisations, lobby groups and many other bodies. Nor do they look at the work we undertake behind the scenes in promoting our area to inward investors and others.

If you want a good idea of what an MP does then read Sandra Gidley's blog or one of the other blogs by her colleagues. Whatever you do, take these tables with a pinch of salt. They are interesting, yes, but they do not really tell us much at all.

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