DavidMiliband.blogspot.com isn’t an internet address that exists yet but is available for someone wanting to start a spoof site. Do you remember the Alastair Campbell parody? Something like DavidMiliband.blogspot.com may soon be hosting David Miliband’s real weblog. According to The Sunday Times, the 40 year-old Labour minister – often rumoured to be the next Labour leader but one – is apparently considering setting up a blog to gauge reaction to policy initiatives. He’ll need to serve his blog readers a little more actively than the readers of his current constituency website. The last time he offered any news to his constituents was five weeks ago – on 26th January.
Mr Miliband has taken part in online Department for Education Q&As and more interactive chats on Labour’s website. Here are two of his contributions to Labour.org.uk:
“I think TB has given Cameron a hell of a pounding at PMQs [prime minister’s questions] today. The truth is that Cameron’s U-turns are rhetorical so far, but in a way a recognition that Labour has helped shift the political agenda. Of course in the end it is substance that counts, and while he is flip-flopping the Tory party has not changed its spots. John Redwood thinking about the future of the NHS — please!”
“That’s a good point, Don. I always say, we are seeking the combination of neighbourhood flexibility and strategic leadership and part of strategic leadership is building bridges between communities and not cutting them off so that we make the most of our diverse society.”
Labour’s best known blogger is currently West Bromwich East MP, Tom Watson. His blog was last updated on 19 February. Not impressive.
No leading Tory has ventured on to the web yet. Sandra Howard’s online diary – during the last election campaign – was the most significant blog from a senior Tory figure but it offered no comments option. Boris Johnson has a weblog but it’s largely maintained by his office.
My advice to any MP thinking of blogging is to observe four fundamental rules…
- Post regularly;
- Allow comments (if necessary after moderation);
- Publish exclusive material – don’t just recycle press releases;
- Write it yourself.