One of my photos

Council twits

July 6th, 2012 · Posted by Skuds in Politics/Technology · 6 Comments · Politics, Technology

I like to keep an eye on the blog of our friend and one-man political soap opera, James Doyle. The soap opera comment is because of the complicated nature of his political allegiances. He was a Lib Dem but quit the party after the general election (at which he was a Lib Dem candidate). He is now a member of the Green party but, and here is where it gets complicated, he is not a Green party councillor but officially an independent. I still think of him as a Lib Dem which is why I don’t get fazed by such manouevres – I sat through enough Crawley council meetings where the Lib Dems went out of their way to call for a recorded vote which they then abstained on to be surprised by such behaviour.

Anyway, the other day he wrote something about WSCC councillors on Twitter that is quite interesting. At the time he wrote 17 out of the 71 county councillors were on Twitter with followings ranging from 3 up to 1775. The Labour group has 100% of its members on Twitter – i.e. both of them.

Labour’s @chrisoxlade has the second highest following with 834 (now up to 855 at this precise moment of writing) and Bob Smytherman is way ahead with 1755. Not sure what is going on with Bob Lanzer though. When I saw he only had 11 followers I was tempted to make it up to a round dozen but then saw that he tweeted once in April and then never again and decided not to bother. Not quite sure why he chose @IO2F3 as a name though.

Does it matter if councillors are on Twitter or not?

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • James Doyle

    Thanks for the plug, skuds!
    Political soap opera, eh? Before you know it, you’ll turn out to be my long lost brother…

  • Gordon Seekings

    Should have guessed that the firsttime I’ve dipped into this website for a year or so you would be misquoting or giving misleading information about the Lib Dems .

    You said “I sat through enough Crawley council meetings where the Lib Dems went out of their way to call for a recorded vote which they then abstained on to be surprised by such behaviour”

    We used to call for a recorded vote on occasions, even when abstaining, as we got sick and tired of the local press and/or Labour and the Tories claiming we had supported (or opposed) a meaningless partisan “punch and judy” vote designed to make a political point – rather than a constructive vote on a real issue – and reporting incorrectly which way we voted.

    As an aside do you oppose your party voting against the Lords reform going through parliament at the moment or are you supporting them in letting Maggie Thatcher have a vote over YOUR life for the rest of HER life?

  • Skuds

    Misquoting or misleading? It did used to happen, and it was a pain in the arse because the council’s process for taking a recorded vote could add 15 minutes to a meeting (more in subjective time).

    It was always exasperating. Especially if it happened late in the night when I had to get up to catch the 0716 the next morning.

    As it happens, I haven’t been following the proceedings in parliament too closely. I find it increasingly boring. From what I can see, we were voting in favour of moving it but not in favour of limiting debate to 10 days.

    I’m not sure my company would want to churn out something as simple as an attendance policy, or guidelines for password security within 10 days.

    I’m not even happy with the proposals. Although they are an improvement on the status quo I can’t see the logical or moral grounds for saying that even part of the 2nd house should be non-elected. You either want democracy or you don’t. Would anybody accept an 80% elected Commons?

  • Gordon Seekings

    I think there are one or two party leaders historically (of all parties!) who would like an 80% elected Commons………

    Myself I like the idea of a 100% elected Lords but I can see the point of it being 80% providing the other 20% initially are made up of the best of the existing bunch. Ideally, as each of the remaining 20% leave, you then have a series of “bye-elections” (ie taken off the lists) to top up the numbers till you get a truly 100% elected Senate/Lords/Revising Chamber.

    • Skuds

      Well you know my opinions on this – I would happily see a directly elected PM/president. If it is good enough for the USA, France and London… and I would love to see the executive/cabinet without constituency links.

      But I would settle for even small advances, like electronic voting in parliament, and family-friendly work hours.