Yay! The new European Parliament site’s up already (and I can access it – at the moment). So here’s a bit of Kilroy, and here’s a bit of Kilroy speech. Looks like he hasn’t made one since December last year, and hasn’t asked any questions since November (his last, bizarrely, being about Welsh mountain ponies, which hardly fall under his Eat Midlands constituency remit, I’d have thought…)
This may seem nothing remarkable, but under the old system, this information would have taken a good half hour to track down – and, let’s face it, few people could be bothered to do that. As such, MEPs could get away with far more.
It’s very hard to overstate the potential for good that making their actions and words more accessible could provide. Now that any random passer-by can get at what they’re up to with very little fuss, they’re going to have to pay more attention to what they’re doing. Rather than them simply being an amorphous mass of faceless MEPs (with only the occasional lone voice trying to spread the word to an uncaring public), we’ll be able to track down individual opinions.
Oh, and for more Kilroy – look, Tories with a sense of humour! (Sort of, at least…)
Update: Hmmm… The report of the recent debate about blogs and the EU doesn’t sound like it’s too promising: “Major concerns were the accountability of “bloggers” and the protection of privacy – or rather the lack of both.” And, as if to undermine my own repost even before I’ve made it, Aidan White, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, enters my shit list for bringing up kiddie porn in a discussion about political blogging (because the internet’s eeeevil and full of terrorists, probably) and regurgitating the “a lot of weblogs are tripe” non-argument. After all, I think we can all agree that a lot of books are tripe – but then you’ll get a Ulyssees; a lot of television’s tripe – but then you’ll get a Twin Peaks; a lot of movies are tripe – but then you’ll get a Citizen Kane. and so on ad infinitum. Just because 99% of blogs are a load of bollocks (probably pretty much true) doesn’t mean that the one percent that are decent should be ignored, surely?
So, they’ve got a fair way to go over there… The new website is certainly a long-overdue step in the right direction though.