« Silent but Deadly | Main | Hansard is a Blog - Discuss (pt2) »

August 05, 2003

Tom Watson is definitely not alone

I moved a while back. As I'm trying to persuade someone else to move to the same area I spent a while poking around in UMS and stumbled across what my MP's been up to.

It's then that I realised MPs have no need for blogs. They've had one for years. Nay centuries. Okay, so it's a text representation of an audblog, and it needs permalinks, but searching for your MP's name in Hansard (you'll need to tick the 'commons hansard' box) gives an accurate insight into what they're doing for you to represent your views in your constituency.

To be honest, I think giving them blogs isn't going to increase the access to democracy in the way that's needed. I think the access-rich will just get richer.

Lets put permalinks, comments and trackback on Hansard, and get the MPs to concentrate on working the machine for the (more visible and accountable) benefit of the country.

Posted by Tom Dolan at August 5, 2003 06:21 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Tom Watson is definitely not alone:

» Holding them to account from www.perfect.co.uk
Tom Dolan has come up with a great idea - ‘Lets put permalinks, comments and trackback on Hansard, and get the MPs to concentrate on working the machine for the (more visible and accountable) benefit of the country’ - which... [Read More]

Tracked on December 3, 2003 04:01 PM


so all we'd need to do would be run a script over the hansard archive that turned every MP attribution into an email/faxyourmp address, and make an index of every debate they were vocal in?

Posted by: martin at August 5, 2003 10:44 PM

Completely. We could even provide graphs.

The daft thing is that the hansard database already produces anchors in this database for every entry. Look at the source on an entry such as this one from my MP Harry Cohen

We just need to make that data visible links.

Just think - the bbc and guardian online political sections could deep link into the actual committe notes or parliamentary debate. Select committees could hyperlink to eachother. Through navigability we could start making this less obfuscated and confusing, giving people with an IQ of less than 140 a chance to see what's going on.

I particularly like the idea of a prime ministers question time where everyone could leave trackbacks and comments saying "you fudged this. you said you were going to give an answer to this by date x and you still haven't"

Posted by: Tom Dolan at August 5, 2003 11:17 PM

if anyone's interested in working with me to create a usable hansard interface, drop me a mail.

I've been meaning to do this for years, and I suddenly find myself with some time.

Posted by: Stefan Magdalinski at August 11, 2003 04:56 PM

Well, we've had a go at it:


Hope you like.


Posted by: James Cronin at June 10, 2004 12:53 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?