Posted by: Charles Maitland | Saturday 18 July, 2009

Politics UK – New and Old. A Contrast

Firstly a political disclaimer; I have a dislike bordering on a loathing for the UK Labour party neither am I a great supporter of the Conservative or Liberal Parties. I am not a member of any of them and not active in any politics.

This post is purely about communication methods in the 21st century and how one small snapshot reveals the differences between what could be called the Obama generation of British politicians and the older school.

In an idle moment I did a search on Twitter for Tom Watson, given he is doing so well in the Open and I follow the likes of Andrew Murray(Tennis) and a number of members of the English and Australian cricket teams.

The number one Twitter result was for a UK member of parliament @Tom_Watson.


Note the tag line “aspiring to be a good dad and respected geek” Now that draws me in in 2 ways. Firstly, humility combined with desire “aspiring to be” says to me “not perfect but trying” I can relate to that! Secondly he wants to be a geek, well that’s good for me.

So I looked at his posts and see:


He is in a conversation with people, he does not know the answers, he trying to become informed. He is engaging so much so that I went to his blog.

His blog was a frequently updated site with a mix of posts, mainly politics but with other stuff, as indeed this blog is, mainly technology with some other stuff like this. We are human not monominded zealots. His page for “teens” (You MUST scroll down to get the not very good joke) is another example of realising that he is not and never will be “down with the hood” and being open and honest about that.

Now for the contrast.

I went to my local MP’s site. Nicholas Soames.


The home page text says:

It is a great honour to be the Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex

and it is my duty and privilege to work on behalf of all my constituents regardless of their political views. I hope that this website will provide

you with a helpful insight into my work at Westminster and in and

around the constituency and my priorities for Mid Sussex.


Yes that really draws me in! Humanity calling! There is nothing in the site that give any mechanism for interaction other than an email link. I have no idea what he is thinking/working/investigating other than I can see the public domain questions he has asked such as:

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice his Department has issued to local authorities on the control of wild deer.

I have one method of communication that is one to one. There is noimage “long tail” or scatter broadcast.






My conclusion is that 1 elected official belongs to a party I “hate” but as an individual I like. The other, well I could not care one way or the other and that is a sad indictment.


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