Over the weekend some bloggers such as Elle Seymour, Iain Dale and Antony Mayfield have been getting themselves into a tizz over the alleged cost of David Miliband’s ministerial blog. It was all sparked off from a parliamentary question by Lib Dem Chris Huhne. Elle and Iain both do a brilliant job of trying to smear David’s blog initiative. Personally I think they are both far too smart to actually believe what they are saying. It’s pure ‘spin’ and being selective with the truth to knock a Labour minister. And nothing wrong with that, it’s their job although I am not sure if I would do the same if it was a Tory minister. It’s one of those none stories a bit like David Cameron on his bike being followed by his official car carrying his papers and a change of clothes. He is Leader of the Opposition people. He has a lot of papers and has to look smart. He cycles because he likes it. Give the guy a break, in the same way that Elle and Iain should give David Miliband a break and actually praise him for actually trying to do a pretty good blog in very difficult circumstances.
For an intelligent analysis of the story I’d suggest reading Simon Collister’s new eDemocracy Update blog which correctly takes David to task for not being quite transparent enough and Simon Dickson who explains what the blog really cost and has a much fairer analysis of what it all means.
The only thing I would add is that it is essential to realise that David’s is a ministerial blog. It is to help him do a better job as Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. It isn’t a personal or political blog so comparisons are irrelevant and inaccurate. Investing government money in improving how ministers engage with the public is a good thing. It would be a good thing whichever party was in government.
I suspect Antony Mayfield might write about Miliband’s blog in his PR Business column this week and that I might just be writing a letter for next week’s PR Business!