Very interesting piece including some excellent quotes such as
"the leaden repetition of the official line is perhaps even more important than the expenses scandal in explaining the low standing of MPs"
"What Westminster calls a gaffe, most voters call frankness. When a free spirit asks what the consensus deems wild questions, millions of people may listen and test their thinking. Parliament needs its republicans, its hardcore anti-EU campaigners, its squeeze-the-rich enthusiasts. If everyone is a member of the soggy centrist consensus, serious thinking becomes flabby and the point of parliamentary politics declines."
"Once, Labour seemed in danger of falling apart. Then it learned discipline. But it learned silence and discretion too. Just now, it sounds like the silence of the graveyard"
too right. There is a very delicate balance to be struck between discipline and blandness. Too often parties' centres are obsessed with discipline, but the lack of real debate goes deeper than that, with a lot of people in the party thinking that Labour is now too much run from the top of the centre. This may be partly the result of our two last leaders, but i think it's deeper. Perhaps it's the result of desperation and panic, i haven't been in the party long enough to know. I believe Labour now is the good old Labour party that everyone has known and (in my case now) love(d).
will we see things like blogging open up the political debate so that random politicians/MPs can speak freely? I hope so.
Does this mean they'll have anything to say? I hope that greater freedom allows more to find their voices. Julian Ware-Lane is a top example. I hope he get's elected and keeps his blog going.
I declare an interest here because he's been very kind about my blog.
I don't follow Tom Watson enough to speak on his, but i do think he's a top bloke (not only coz he bought me beer)