Labour consider inviting bloggers to the Ard Fheis. Oh how terribly nice of them!

One of the things that annoys me about is the fact those that post on it also post their thoughts on their own blogs so you see the same post replicated throughout the Blog O’Sphere. I find it probably cheapens the site as the content isn’t unique. Anyway, now I’m doing the same as I’m replicating comments I wrote on it. Adam Maguire reported that Labour is considering inviting bloggers to their Ard Fheis. Here were my thoughts and I’ll add more to the end of it:

Wow, they’re going to give bloggers doggie treats in the form of invites. Are we worthy? I’d much rather Labour and every other party listen to people whether they be pensioners, craftsmen, yachting folk, bloggers or teens.

however we can normally only invite people from the mainstream press as we know who they are

To me that reads “We’d rather invite people who will toe the line or whose reactions we can predict when we feed them the usual PR shite.” It also seems to me that they don’t understand what bloggers are. Bloggers are not journalists. We are not paid to write stuff on something we don’t give a damn about.

I’m sure they’d rather not invite someone that listens to one of them up at the podium and instantly blogs “Man that guy is just bullshitting”. Labour and all the rest don’t give a flying fig about people though. What they and the rest care* about are voters. Voters are not the same as people in their eyes. How about Labour actually listens to people and not pander to voters? The fact Labour have to make a conscious decision and change some bloody policy to “invite” bloggers means they are well and truly STILL NOT GETTING IT.

Here’s a free consultation: Enable the Ard Fheis with free net access and free power strips for those with laptops. Don’t invite bloggers, enable people to comment via their own laptops at the event, via forums and via genuine blogs from Labour. If bloggers are there then good, if not that’s fine too. But that’s just a start. Engage with people using all forms of media, not just blogs. Blogs you don’t control and forums you don’t control. Listen to what people care about and have issues about. Forums, blogs, emails and so forth. And for the love of christ stop with the Joan Burton press releases dressed up as blog posts and spamming

Do what Dave Winer suggested too. Pick a bunch of people and get them to blog about issues they think are important. People, not voters. And certainly not the party hacks/labour apologists who are so blind that they can’t see their party has things that need to be fixed like every other human created organisation.

*where care is the action of appeasing** those that will grant them power.
** where appeasing means using any and all honest and disonest means to placate someone

Just so we’re clear I don’t hate the Labour party, I just hold them at the same level as the rest of the parties in this country. Low.

9 Responses to “Labour consider inviting bloggers to the Ard Fheis. Oh how terribly nice of them!”

  1. Adam says:

    I agree that it’s hardly a resounding thumbs up for bloggers, or a sign that blogging is being considered overly important but it’s a start.

    It’s interesting to note that when I spoke to the representative in Labour he said that the report being compiled by Zach Exley isn’t yet completed but will be soon; in other words all of the moves by Labour so far probably haven’t been sanctioned by the guy who should really know how to work the internet; perhaps at that point we’ll see some real blogs, some real interaction and some real contact made with political bloggers

  2. Damien says:

    When Exley refuses to answer email from Irish bloggers and instead refers them to the PR folks in Labour HQ I have little hope for him or them. When Labour measures their initiatives in “how many votes will that get us in the next election?” then I think they don’t get it and deserve not to. This is about changing things for the next few generations not the next election. This is taking a crappy football team and building the future, not just trying to stop being relegated next season. You build your current team but also set up a soccer academy and constantly scout for future talent.

    When the name Joan Burton is mentioned to an Irish Blogger now, what are the chances they’ll think of crappy press releases and a pink suit?

  3. Adam says:

    When Labour measures their initiatives in “how many votes will that get us in the next election?� then I think they don’t get it and deserve not to.

    I agree, the truth is all political parties think in these terms on every aspect of modern life; few have the balls to actually take a chance and stand for something unless it’s public-approved first

  4. Brian Greene says:

    I am in a political party, formed following the expulsion of our members from the labour party. not mentioning them as I don’t need to give them any free publicity. I thought your comments were OTT until you mentioned ‘Joan Burton’. then it all clicked into place like the last row of the Rubik’s cube.

    GP had the first political party website in ireland, militant was second, Ill never forget JB’s reaction to the contents on the militant website, she shook a ‘faxed’ copy of it at a microphone in RTE radio studios live on air. Now she has a blog….. 12 years later…… her eagerness may have more to do with her absences from the Dail for a spell of 5 years.

    but in general Labour & bloggers at conference, its a delegate conference, branches etc. send delegate voters to watch the stage managed non conflict conference. Staged managed for the reason of TV cameras, all timed to the second to maximise precious TV air time… bloggers A. are not supposed to be there (you’re right) nor should the TV cameras, it makes for a lesser debate and a poorer labour party & B. coz the cameras are there, the bloggers wont count for much. A sound bite for the 9’O’clock – that’s the winner.

    have no illusions labour is a centre based party with ambitions of coalition with a centre right FG who are member of Christian Democratic European People’s Party along side Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia……

  5. Branedy says:

    I know via my stats that the labor party is visiting my blog. But since I may not be Irish enough, I may not get invited to the party. IS there a Blogger party? IS there a blogger platform (other than WordPress, or Typepad)?

  6. […] Damien Mulley has managed to fire up a discussion on Irish Politics. Here; Labour consider inviting bloggers to the Ard Fheis. Oh how terribly nice of them! and here Irish Bloggers will not influence the election and while I think he really is concerned, I think he is doing a bit of tongue in cheeky just to stir things up a bit. […]

  7. Matthew says:

    John, your suggestion of the free net access and use of laptops is a good one.

    I would add that if the outside world could comment on the Ard Fhéiseanna easier then it would show an openness of the political party involved that hasn’t been seen in Irish politics before. The Rainbow Coalition had accountability and openness (Glasnost even) as its mantra.

    It’s hard to show challenging comments while removing the insults and nastiness etc. but if we, the people, could get our voices heard at these self-serving promotions then bloggers could really have their stage and their voices heard.

  8. Aonghus says:

    Damien, I am afraid your (green) slip is showing… Labour runs a ‘conference’ not an Ard Fheis. You’re confusing them with your pals in Fianna Fáil … Even Joan Burton wouldn’t make that mistake ….
    Yours in blogging,

  9. Brian is right in saying that party conferences are stage managed for the Saturday night sound-bites, but he can rest assured that his party will do exactly the same if they ever become big enough to merit live TV time. After all Joe and Clare are the masters of the soundbite and with their Trotskyite discipline techniques teach all members to mouth the same mantras.
    Labour was of course the first party to preovide live webcasts of our conference including unedited vox-pops with delegates. We now also have over 10 public reps blogging. Funnily enough I can’t locate a single SP rep in the blogosphere.
    On the coalition issue, I presume Brian agrees with Joe’s ancient position that Labour must wait, while the right get on with running the country. Maybe he has benefitted from free third level education, introduced by the last Labour/Centre Right coalition. Always great to see the high moral viewpoint of the hurler on the ditch!