05 June 2007

Rolling Blog News

Tim Montgomerie is the founder of Conservative Home and is, in my opinion, a bit of a legend. It's only two years ago that he got the customary welcome from a less distinguished Tim when he started blogging. This evidence suggests that his site's pledge to provide grass-roots Conservatives with a platform for their views is being fulfilled. Tim is a man who has earnt the right to be taken seriously in political circles.

I believe that democracy and open debate are paramount to Tim's ethos and I admit that I like the fact that a former CCO insider told me that Tim causes a lot of trouble. Tim has recently penned a recent article for the Spectator with the extravagant headline "The next general election will be won and lost on the internet".

Although I don't have such a clear vision of the future impact of internet-related political engagement as Tim, it's clear that political parties would benefit from thinking harder about how the internet can be used. A recent 18 Doughty Street show with Julian Glover (Grauniad) and Steve Richards (Indy) was interesting because they both seemed to agree that the Conservatives press team's focus was hopelessly misdirected away from leading bloggers. Which brings me on to the subtext to Tim's article.

I am happy to be corrected, but whilst the piece is ostensibly directed at all political parties it looks like the intended target is Cameron - and was more than just a spot of advice. His article is not quite in the use me or lose me category, but it was certainly a shot across the bows. Now I don't know whether Team Cameron are upset with Tim, but it can come across like that - and that concerns me.

Frankly, it is not easy or advisable to marginalise someone in Tim's position. For a start he absolutely relishes the fact that he operates outside the constraints of party politics - indeed his desire to discuss taboo issues is a key factor for his success. Further, given that Tim is someone seeking party democracy and a set of policies underpinned by truth, logic and principle, I am sure I will not be alone in being wary of the motives of his critics.

Getting our internet strategy right presents tremendous opportunities which unfortunately appears to be a task marked as important but not urgent. The party badly needs to wake up. Tim is a friend and a highly talented resource, not a competitor. Listen to him. At last year's party conference, Eric Schmidt the CEO of google was on the main stage whilst Tim was on the fringes. What chance that we'll see Tim on the main stage in Blackpool?

10 comments:

Voyager said...

I have 10 square feet of stuff

Where did you have it pressed flat ? Most of us ship in cubic metres but you obviously found someone with a flatbed truck and a rolling mill and press-hammer.

Are you sure these items will be useful when reduced to two-dimensions ? I have always like to open drawers in a filing cabinet to retrieve documents, but I can see you are a post-modernist

Manfarang said...

Does this mean your exile is permanent?

Flavious said...

"This isn't time critical, but the gf is getting a bit impatient about some of her clothes"

In my personal experience with the fairer sex, if she's getting impatient about her clothes. That makes it both time and finance critical eg "I've got nothing to wear PT.... give me your credit card and I'll grab some essentials" (like 2 new wardrobes full) lol.

mutleythedog said...

Could I keep some of the clothes and books as mementoes if I did it?

Mark Wadsworth said...

What Voyager said. Funny and pedantic and the same time!

Voltigeur said...

London has got 10,000 cubic metres of Rumanian trash that needs dropping off on the way if anyone can help.

mutleythedog said...

These comments relate to a different post... cool!

CityUnslicker said...

a much more exctiting post too!

Ed said...

I'm confused.

Darren G. Lilleker said...

Not sure if the next election will be won or lost online but it will contribute significantly. Interaction can build relationships, though few parties seem to be taking this seriously. They need to go out to where people are talking more and not expect visitors to their sites. They also need to be considering rebuttals to online criticisms. There is a new locus of discussion and parties are outside of the loop.