Saturday, June 27, 2009

PPCs, Bloggers and the Lib Dem constitution :-)

Today is set aside for me to write my application for the job of my dreams (tho success would mean my sharp exit from politics), to sort out my paper work, try and find a mortgage to avoid yet another threatened eviction, write a motion on detention of children and resubmit my petition for divorce (in one week's time it will be incontestable). But, as ever, I have to confess to having been distracted by my fellow bloggers!

Charlotte Gore started the debate, do candidacy and blogging mix? Swiftly followed by Stephen Glenn and Darrell Goodliffe, both of whom I agree with. Charlotte, we may be opposite ends of the Lib Dem political spectrum, but my response would be go girl! Whatever comments you have made you have made seriously, they are your views, they demonstrate your political commitment, if you have made them I have no doubt you can robustly defend them - why then worry about having to do that if you are a PPC? And, I have to wonder, is this one of our bugbears as women, would our male counterparts have similar worries? Seriously, it worries me that as Lib Dems, with a constitution that among other things asserts that "no one should be enslaved by conformity" it ill behoves us to condemn those who don't conform to every jot and tittle!

In the current political climate people are looking for politicians with real integrity, who are motivated by a belief that society could be different, who will not conform simply to advance their careers and who have thought through where they stand and why. When Nick Clegg was elected his mantra was "risky and radical". Oh that we would truly embrace that!

A few years ago I attended a media course for PPCs - which I have mentioned before, being as I was the only woman. During the course our tutor cautioned us about the dangers of blogs. All eyes turned towards response..........what makes you think I'm not careful?! OK, I sometimes blast off about this or that that has wound me up - but, to quote my favourite book "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks"....! :-) I cannot and will not water down my views so as not to frighten the horses. I will only alter my views if someone presents me with a logical argument, or presents me with new evidence to demonstrate that I am wrong. And, at the risk of falling into "I told you so" smugness, I have been proved right on for example raising the tax threshold rather than the 4p reduction, on Trident, on my lonely stand on troops out of Iraq (thanks to the 6 people who backed me in that debate!). I also think my support for Nick Clegg has been well and truly vindicated over the past few weeks. And in the future I expect to be proved right on my stand on privatisation of Royal Mail, Afghanistan..........amongst other things!

So to all you fellow bloggers out there who may think being a candidate or MP and blogging don't mix - take your lead from those such as Lynne Featherstone who have made an art of it. I certainly don't recall her ever pulling her punches on issues she felt strongly about.

1 comment:

Stephen Glenn said...

Linda agree too often media training focuses on the dangers citing Jody Dunn, instead of the sucesses citing Lynne.

I was quite impressed that at Scottish Conference this spring we had an open training session on new media. But feel that even that could have been better.