The Lords they are a blogging!

Lord Soley

After many trials and tribulations the Lords have got a blog site – thanks to the Hansard Society and the Lords Library and Information Department (and me!)

The following will appear on the Guardian ‘Comment is free’ site on Monday:

In 2003 I started a blog as an MP. I regarded it as a success and it certainly attracted some interesting debates.

It was important for me because it enabled me to talk direct to people without first finding a media outlet. I saw it as a meeting room without walls. There are problems for an elected representative however. The more successful your blog is the more time consuming – and time matters for MP’s! You also have to decide whether to answer all the points or just those from constituents or just let the blog run itself with occasional inputs from the MP

Over the last 12 months I have let my blog drift into gentle decline with only occasional posts. But down in the Westminster forest something was stirring. I had talked to the Hansard Society and to the House of Lords Library and Information department. The result? A new Lordsoftheblog has emerged blinking into the daylight! The Hansard Society has been a good midwife!

Nine Lords are participating and I think that number will grow. The idea is, in effect, a group blog. We all make (hopefully!) two posts a week and no doubt each Peer will decide how and when to respond to comments. I hope it will give people a greater insight into the working of the House of Lords and enable Peers to inform people of their views and their actions, their votes and their policy aims.

MP’s and Peers need to find new ways of engaging with the public. A blog is not the complete answer to the feeling of alienation from the political system that many feel today but it is part of the answer. In the 1950’ trade unions and the church played a bigger role in informing people about their political rights and duties. That has gone and the conventional media has been unable to replace it

There is no shortage of opinion today – almost everyone with access to the internet can have their shout but Peers and MP are legislators and what they think and do is more than opinion – it is also news. So we now have one more way of telling people what we are doing and why. Hopefully it will also give the public a chance to talk to us more directly even if we can’t promise to answer all their comments or to do everything they would like us to do.

4 comments for “The Lords they are a blogging!

  1. Lords - Independent and Impartial ??
    17/03/2008 at 3:58 pm

    So Lord Soley, Truth or Dare, Do you agree with Peregrine Worsthorne ?

  2. 17/03/2008 at 9:21 pm

    Welcome back, Clive!

  3. Clive Soley
    18/03/2008 at 3:37 pm

    Nice to hear from you again! I hope you enjoy the plural version of Lords of the blog!

    Regarding the other comment I can’t say Pergrine Worsthorne and I are likely to agree very often. In this case I think he has a point about a need to change some aspects of our democracy but I wouldn’t start from where he is!

  4. 04/10/2008 at 7:37 pm

    Almost everyone with access to the internet can have their shout.
    Yes. And isn’t that a wonderful thing? It matters more to the common man than to the lord who has some influence without having to shout on the internet. But for the rest of us blogging is important. Do your lordships think that unfettered blogging is a right which should be protected? Or do you think blogging should be regulated? Some of us are a bit worried about what the EU is planning for us.

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