bluefluff's blue fluff

Monday, December 12, 2005


But with a difference....
I often find it difficult to get worked up about political issues, despite having been very "engaged" in the past. Nowadays I'm pretty detached except at General Elections, when I'll go & place my cross in a place that I deem appropriate.
Partly this is down to a deep cynicism about ordinary people being able to "make a difference" (& yes, I know that's illogical - the more people detach from the political process, the more likely it is that cynicism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy).
A couple of weeks ago, though, I came across this blog by Austin Mitchell, the MP for Grimsby (or Great Grimsby, as it likes to style itself these days). The press usually describe Austin as a "maverick", because he doesn't toe the party line if he disagrees with it. An intelligent ex-journalist, he could easily have made his way into the corridors of power if he'd been prepared to sacrifice his principles, but he chose to put principle first, which is pretty rare for a politician nowadays.
Anyway, I was so intrigued to find him blogging that I sat & read the entire archive, often laughing out loud at his sarky descriptions of life at Westminster & reflections on current issues. Sample, on the recently defeated proposals to extend detention for terrorist suspects:

Thanks for your letter apologising for the loaded questions in your letter of last Friday. Questions like "Do you agree that the Police should have all the powers they need to beat the shit out of drug-crazed terrorists who would otherwise kill and maim thousands of defenceless women and babies by blowing up crowded crèches all over the country?" are not exactly scientific. Seventy per cent of the public and 100% of Sun Editors may want 90 days but that's less than the population who want hanging, castration of paedophiles and public floggings.

That isn't how you expect an MP to write, & that's precisely why I like him. I also like the whole idea of MPs writing blogs to communicate with their constituents (& wider audiences) - really communicate, not just churn out soundbites & party propaganda. I live just over the constituency border, where the Labour MP is a "Blair Babe" whose voting record is impeccable... the new generation of 'New Labour'.
She doesn't have a blog.


Post a Comment

<< Home