Sunday, December 07, 2008

Who is your MP?

the logo for the BCS Best MP websites 2008I just couldn’t resist using this logo for the Best MP Website Awards 2008, paid for no doubt with member’s subscriptions, including mine. Is it better or worse than the 2012 Olympic one? Grrrr!

Anyway, according to a survey commissioned by BCS only 7 per cent of British adults have looked at their MP's website and only 46 per cent know the name of their MP. One frequent search item that ends up here is “who is the MP for Barkingside?”, so they don’t even know what constituency they live in. So much for political engagement. Perhaps Ilford North should be renamed “Barkingside and Woodford East".

I suppose I’m a political nerd keeping tabs on [stalking? if he was a government MP I'd be expecting the fuzz round any minute now] Lee Scott. Others have much more important things to do like paying the mortgage and bringing up the kids.

Now, “This year's category winners, selected by an independent panel of political commentators from across the media, were dominated by MPs from the Labour party.” So, as a result of comments on an earlier post we learn that MPs can claim an allowance for websites. Lee Scott uses ePolitix which does not cost us [taxpayers] any dosh.

What I’d like to know is how much traffic do these Award winning websites get and how much does it cost us? You know, what is that thing called?, Oh yes I remember now, a Cost Benefit Analysis.

A link to Lee’s website is in the side bar.


  1. 46% recognition is pretty good, frankly - most London assembly members would give their right arm for such a high profile, or perhaps not...

    A few years ago I engaged some specialists to set up a website for me. It cost me a small fortune - my own cash, not expenses - and never even went live owing to technical and copyright issues. Two years ago I discovered Blogger, which I use for my personal site, and it costs me nothing.

  2. So it's Roger the Blogger.......

  3. You make an interesting point with people asking who is the MP for Barkingside.

    There is an arcane procedure for the naming of constituencies, and despite having sat through two Parliamentary Boundary Reviews (and done behind the scenes work for them both), I cannot now remember every condition. One of them, however, is that the nearest town must be included in the title.

    The Conservatives' suggestion of renaming Ilford North as Redbridge North was turned down by the Electoral Commission.

  4. Er, according to this list, they don't all have the nearest town in the title.

  5. Oh, they side-step the rules when it suits them.

    A strong recommendation when redrawing constituency boundaries is that Borough boundaries should NOT be crossed.

    In our area, both Leyton&Wanstead and Chingford&Woodford Green constituencies break this rule, fully sanctioned by the Electoral Commission.

  6. Try googling "fiscal rules".
    Strange how the Scots aren't quite so prudent when spending English money.

    And for political balance I will quote a senior local Conservative: "I just love spending other people's money" as he took another puff on his cigar.

  7. Would that be the same Councillor who has three secretaries, plus an executive assistant on £39k p/a?

  8. I couldn't possibly comment.

    But I can reveal that this site has had a few visitors searching on that individual's name followed by "MP"!