SpectatorscanI didn’t choose the headline for the politics column I’ve written for this week’s Spectator but please click here to read my 1150 words on why I think the internet may eventually transform the party political system in the same way that it is transforming the newspaper industry.

Matt d’Ancona, the Editor of The Spectator has written about political blogging for the latest edition of GQ.  Here are two key extracts from what he has written:

"Show me a minister on his way up, and I’ll show you a blogger. Show me a politician who doesn’t know his wiki from his wi-fi, and I’ll show you a loser. Only a few years ago, the web was a nerdy sideshow to the main political event, mainly referred to when MPs moaned that e-mail from constituents had doubled their workload. These days, the web is politics.  Look at the Labour deputy leadership contest. What did Hilary Benn, Hazel Blears and Peter Hain do to set out out their stall? Set up pages on MySpace and Facebook, that’s what. Even the decidedly unhip Sir Menzies Campbell, a man you would more closely associate with a spinning jenny than an iMac is registered on MySpace, and also has an unauthorised fan club page: “Proud to be a Minger”.

"On Budget Day, Gordon Brown expected at least a day of terrific headlines hailing him as a tax cutter. No such luck: the small print was quickly analysed online, and, by tea-time, the Chancellor’s final Budget speech was being pilloried as a tax con. On  the morning of May 4, the broadcasters were confident that the Tories had made only satisfactory gains in the local elections: they bought Labour’s line that its results in the Scottish, Welsh and town hall elections had been poor but not disastrous. The bloggers were sceptical, and they were right. By Saturday morning, it was clear that the Conservatives had scooped nearly 900 seats and that Labour had lost Scotland. If that’s not disastrous, what is?  So dig the new breed. Embrace the revolution. In the politics of 2007, if you’re not online, you don’t even exist."

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