Monday, June 14, 2004

About: First Post

Alan Milburn has been the MP for Darlington since 1992. He rose through the ranks of government, from opposition to Secretary of State for Health. For a while, he was seen as a possible future Prime Minister. In June of last year, he resigned from the cabinet in order to spend more time with his family, though he remains MP for Darlington.

I'd always thought it a bit odd that the MP for Darlington spent most of his time in London (like other MPs), but didn't live in Darlington for the rest of the time, but where he chooses to live is his business. However, judging by Alan's entry at They Work For, he's spending a bit too much time with his family, and not a lot being Darlington's MP. His own online diary doesn't give much more detail; at the time of writing, it was last updated by a work experience boy one month ago.

Speaking in parliament 4 times in the last year (605th out of 657 MPs), asking 14 written questions in the last year (402nd out of 657 MPs), replying to 29% of messages sent via within 14 days (524th out of 588 MPs) and attending 53% of votes in parliament (560th out of 658 MPs) isn't enough work for the £47,008 he gets paid to be Darlington's MP (double what most teachers are on).

A weblog would show the people who vote for him how hard he's working, and attract the majority of those interested in issues he cares about. He may even learn an important thing or two from us in the process. (Paraphrased from Why Politicians Need Weblogs.)

If he's not doing enough to justify the salary, then he should resign as MP and let someone else have a go. That's what this weblog is for: to encourage Alan to either let us know what he's doing, or step down.

(This whole thing is inspired by How To Run a Weblog on Behalf of Your MP (or How To Stalk Your MP In Less Than 10 Minutes A Day).)


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