Simon Willison’s Weblog


Interview with the Blogging MP

15th April 2003

Via Tom Watson himself, a short interview with Tom, the UK’s first blogging MP:

It is a huge political risk (Watson’s spoof page for teenagers caught the eyes of the national newspapers last week) but Watson is determined to stick with it.

Watson admits: “I’ll get some stick but I think eventually people will see that is fundamentally a more honest way of communicating with people who want to know what you think and do. Oh, and its also great fun and slightly addictive.”

What’s more, Watson is convinced that weblogging will catch on among his fellow MPs.

“If the software makes publishing your thoughts and ideas easier, it will certainly catch on. For me, there is the advantage of getting ideas and opinions in the public domain quickly, without the reliance on your good profession (journalists) to interpret/edit what I’ve said.”

Not only is Tom’s weblog a great precedent for a more open, accessible government, it is also a fascinating insight in to the day to day life of an elected representative in this country. It’s a shame all the press coverage so far has been about the spoof teens page rather than the format of the site itself.

This is Interview with the Blogging MP by Simon Willison, posted on 15th April 2003.

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