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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Why Welsh Labour are failing to make best use of the new media

Welsh Labour's presence on the internet is a long-standing joke. At best they have two sites of any significance and worth.

Newport MP, Paul Flynn is an early pioneer and continues to offer a blog and website of a high standard, whilst Marcus Warner stands alone as an independent-minded Labour blogger. Considering that the party is the dominant political force in Wales they should be doing much better.

Why they are not doing so is apparent from a very revealing blog entry by Paul Flynn this morning. Writing about an away-weekend of MPs and AMs he says:

We had a splendid, well-informed pep talk on the use of hi-tech communications by MPs. The advice was don’t blog or use twitter. Blogs provides hostages to fortune and tweeting is for idiots. Using a lively website was encouraged and Facebook. Mature MPs and AMs present said they found Facebook an alien hostile habitat.

Welsh Labour are afraid of the internet because they cannot control it and they do not trust their elected representatives to use it in a way that Party HQ might approve of. In other words they are control freaks who are out-of-touch with the twenty-first century.

Then again, if Aneurin Glyndwr is the best they can do when they try to produce an officially-sanctioned blog, it is no wonder that their members are so distrustful of the web.
don't blog or use Twitter? I thought Labour MPs were under order TO use Twitter, whether they wanted to or not?

Bizarre. The nature of debate is (generall) far higher in blogs than it is on Facebook. I don't get it at all.

As for control-freakery, well, they're not the only party guilty of it. It is endemic in the "politician" culture. (see my last blog post)

Ultimately: Labour are the largest party in Wales at the moment. The fact that there is only a couple of Labour blogs shows you the state of mind if the average Labour voter: they simply couldn't care less! They automatically put their X in the Labour box every 4 years, and that is where their politics end. Actually, no, I refuse to believe that, the Labour people I know are very political... in the pub. In the office canteen. Online? Nope. Why?
'An alien, hostile environment'..?!

That is absolutely staggering.

But a fascinating insight into Labour's attitude to their constituents - nice enough, as long as you don't have to listen to them.
There are occasional manifestations of control-freakery even in the LD party, sadly, but surely Labour is supreme in this field? A recent example: a community councillor summoned to appear before his Labour-dominated council to explain his daring to speak to the press about a local matter.

The large number of LibDem- and Conservative-orientated blogs relative to Labour ones is evidence enough of those parties' resistance to thought-control from HQ.
Don't forget Huw Lewis.
Yes you are right James, I had forgotten Huw Lewis. My apologies.He may not post as often as Paul and Marcus but his blog is still a significant contribution to the Welsh on-line community.
I cannot really say too much, but there will be something significant brought forward very soon.

Hopefully I can at least blog about it next week.
In other words Labour MPs are too thick to write or use a blog. But we knew that already. Just look at the cabinet and you simply can't imagine how dire the rest must be NOT to make the grade.
Aneurin Glyndwr attack blog has been a nightmare for the Labour party but the fact they think the best reaction is to close themselves off from the interent vote shows how out of touch they are
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