OurKingdom & Government Blogging

I like reading the OurKingdom blog, I don't always understand it, but I enjoy reading it. My politics tend to come from the heart and the guts, OurKingdom's politics tends to be more cerebral.

I have nothing against intellectual or logical politics. Nothing pleases me more than reading an academic treaties that comes to the same conclusion, through long and convoluted arguments, that I came to by gut instinct!

OurKingdom is currently hosting what the site believes to be a unique online deliberation on how the potential of the internet can be integrated into a national political process. It is about this question: can participation on the web reinforce representative democracy?

I write posts on my blog in the hope that they might have a smidgen of influence on the political process, they are my little way of taking part in the Welsh political scene. I don't expect them to be of huge significance, they are just my twopennyworth in a million pound venture.

What is important to me however is that it is MY twopennyworth, all mine! I don't want my blog integrated into a national (=Brit) political process.

150 years ago the press was seen as the Fourth Estate of Parliament, the fearless and favour-less institution that could hold Monarch, Lords and Commons to account on behalf of the people. Then all of the press owners became part of the establishment, part of the problem, the Press Barons who could claim after an election It was the Sun Wat Won It.

The internet is now the Fifth Estate.

As I have said I don't understand the whole point being made by OurKingdom, to read the whole point takes hours and involves clicking on hundreds of links. My gut reaction is that the government wants to control the blogosphere by making it part of the official political process in order to stifle its independent and unpredictable spirit.

This blog will never become a part of any government process. I will not be tempted into turning my personal blog into a vehicle for government consultation. MPs, AMs and Civil Servants are welcome to read my posts and inform policies from my opinions, but the opinions expressed here will always be my own and never part of any wider internet consultation. Sorry!


  1. Saying that you are too thick to understand what is going on, Alwyn, is not the best way to take part in a debate.

    I can understand where you are coming form though. A 3,000 word blog post that links to eleven other posts of similar length plus comments and further links is not the best way to get the blogosphere engaged in a discussion either!

  2. Alwyn: What we are doing at OK is not a 'consultation'. It is an independent deliberation on an important topic. We are not afraid of influencing the government, or losing our marbles because we debate with Ministers. Otherwise you run the risk of just talking to yourself. Here is a difficult question: how can we who write blogs influence anything? And do so in a way that is legitimate?
    Anthony Barnett

  3. here here Alwyn
    This is the one space thats left to free speech,of sorts mind.
    If it becomes a political tool it will betaken over by lobbyist etc.
    Thats not what this is all about.Its great that we dont have to intellectualise,that we can meander through things that catch out interest,not always political either.
    Be careful what you wish for mt Barnett, there are many ways to influence,dont compromise this one

  4. Bugger the internet lets go back to the ballot box, electing chief constables would be a start, that and restoring power to local councillors and diminishing the influence of unelected officials.

  5. The Government would just love to shut bloggers up, but we have such contempt for them that it will make us blog more!