Blogging Welsh Poltics #2

Clive Betts is the grandfather of Welsh political commentary. He has been around the Welsh political scene for so long that I wouldn't be surprised if his first political interview was with the newly elected Lloyd George.

He's been blogging for just over a month though, but he has really caught the bug. He has made two posts in two days about how important the Welsh blogosphere will prove to be in the future.

His latest offering includes the statement:

People will start to evaluate the political candidates of tomorrow by the quality of their websites, their social networking (Facebook) profile and by their blogging ability.
I'm not so sure. An enthusiastic web presence could also be an impediment to a political career, as I have said in response to his post:

My blog, which has been going for some 14 months or so, basically contains the thoughts that I would previously have shared with family members, close friends and drinking buddies. It is basically an online pub rant.

If I fancied throwing my hat into the ring for the next election, at any level, what I may have told my wife or my friends or the lads down the Dog & Duck wouldn’t stop me from being nominated.

The fact that I have told a wider audience that Ieuan Wyn is a wimp, Mike German is a waste of space, Rhodri Morgan is a prat and Nick Bourne is a bore means that I have peed on my chips as far as being nominated by any party is concerned. The parties know that if I was selected my words would be used against me by the opposition.

The down side of the web is that many potentially good young people with an interest in politics may find themselves disbarred from the political process because of over-enthusiastic comments that they have made will be cached forever.
Last year's Dave Collins affair is a case in point.

At pesent the political blogs are made up of silver-bloggers, such as myself who no longer have any political ambition to sacrifice. People who did politics before they did blogging, like Iain Dale, Martin Eaglestone, Peter Black, Adam Price, etc who had political copy books that they knew couldn't be blotted when they started blogging; and people like Paul Flynn who were an established part of the awkward squad before blogging began.

The blogging problem is going to exist for potential politicians such as Southpaw Grammar, or New Welsh Right who have started blogging in anticipation of greater things. It will be even worse for those who may gain an interest in politics later in life, but have already made themselves look like prats on Bebo or Facebook.


  1. This is something I realised too, it's somesort of a catch-22 for any poor sod who (for some reason) becomes a politician in the future.

    Young people these days have Facebook/Bebo profile with pictures of them drunk, wall posts discussing their private life etc etc. Any young person with a political interest seems to have a blog and probably contributes to a forum as well.

    In blogs and forums we talk like we would with our friends down the pub - we sa things without thinking about the fact that all kind of people will read it, not just our "friends".

    All of this will be brought up if they ever stand for office. And it's even worse in Wales since the "blogosphere" is so small and there's much more chance of someone remebering the young you. There's also Maes-e, where any welsh speaker with political interest is sure to have gone into a stupid argument over some point or other.

    Thank god that I never want to be a politician!

  2. Think you've gotten the link wrong MOF - that's a story about some fella called Marcus ...