Local elections took place in the UK yesterday and the governing Labour Party hasn’t done well at all. One consequence – the biggest Cabinet reshuffle in over a decade. The BBC website is a good place to go for detailed information.
Of special interest to me is what’s happened to David Miliband, the Minister and Cabinet member who blogs.
He has been promoted to Environment Secretary as he announced in a post to his blog early this afternoon. And he hopes to continue blogging:
As you may know I’m no longer Minister of Communities and Local Government – I’m now Environment Secretary – so this blog will no longer exist at its current URL.
But I’m very much hoping this won’t be the end of my presence on the blogosphere…please keep an eye out.
Thanks to everyone who’s been reading the blog and posting comments – I’m looking forward to continuing our conversations.
With his blog, Miliband represents a new wave of influential politicians who clearly understand social media and the role they can play in direct communication, so I certainly hope he is able to continue.
Keeping an eye out.
I am a fan of David and his bloggings efforts, but…
I find it amusing that David’s blog cost the taxpayer about Â£6,000 to set-up and this money was spent on intergrating the blog software and design into the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s (ODPM) website (the department in which he worked until yesterday).
To find out that his blog will no longer be available at the ODPM’s URL is a bit rich!
One question is worth answering (and I know David reads your blog) is: will it cost another Â£6,000 to set up his blog at the Environment Agency?
10/10 for blogging efforts; nil points for technological foresight!!
I’ve seen comments on some political blogs criticising that 6K figure, Simon, hence I don’t pay any attention to such criticism because of its political motivation.
But let’s say it did cost 6K. How is that figure made up? Hardware costs in providing a server, perhaps? Paying consultants’ fees to advise on setting it up? Licensing software? None of these things are out of the ordinary whether it’s for a blog by a politician (and so, presumably, taxpayers’ money was spent) or by a listed commercial organization (shareholders’ money if we stretch this analagy a bit).
I haven’t seen similar criticisms relating to, say, the amount of money government departments spend on printed brochures, etc. Or the costs of travelling around and making speeches. Or the cost of maintaining a press office and issuing press releases. All part of communication, just as the blog is.
I wouldn’t be surprised is there was a cost involved in enabling the blog to continue as part of a different government department.
To me, it will be money well spent if it enables David Miliband to continue blogging!
All fair points, Neville. I wasn’t trying to be overly critical and I appreciate that the inclusion of the phrase ‘taxpayers’ money’ might have made me out to be a nimby-type or serial complainer. I’m not… honest!!
But knowing that Ministers don’t stay ministers for ever someone should have thought about what to do when Miliband moved on. It shows a lack of forward planning. But maybe another minister will take over Miliband’s old blog site??
I think you’re right to criticize, Simon, as we all are when it’s something to do with taxpayers’ money. So my question is – where does the money for car tax and the high tax element of the petrol price go? Not on fixing the roads, it seems.
But I’m digressing!
Miliband posted yesterday afternoon about his move, at 13:39 BST according to the timestamp in the RSS feed. At 20:17, he posted saying he had an interim blog up and running.
What was especially good about that was that it’s the same RSS feed, so ensuring continuity and eliminating the chances of losing subscribers. And the IT folk (presumably) were able to switch all his content to a new location at the Dept for Environment website, even if it might be a temprary one.
So 10/10 for tech foresight :)
Can’t argue with that then, Neville!
[…] Yesterday, Neville Hobson pointed out that David Miliband, the blogging Cabinet Minister, had been promoted in Tony Blair’s Cabinet Shuffle. Miliband posted to his blog that, “I’m now Environment Secretary – so this blog will no longer exist at its current URL and I’m afraid this meansÂ we can’t post any more comments on this site. … But I’m very much hoping this won’t be the end of my presence on the blogosphere…please keep an eye out.” […]
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