Went along to the latest labourlist launch breakfast thingy this mornin’. On the panel were Tom Watson, Douglas Alexander, Labour’s head of New Media and a token tecchy person from the company that hosts Labour’s website. The compere was Derek Draper. The discussion thoughful rather than unashamedly partisan: subjects raised included the difficulty of remaining independent-thinking as bloggers are meant to do and within a political party who has a government line to toe. Tom Watson (the UK’s first blogging MP) called the coming of the blogosphere the biggest change to hit the media since the Gutenberg press. Among the comments from the floor was someone who claimed to be the UK’s first blogging councillor. Elsewhere were comments aplenty on how Obama built up a huge bank of mobile numbers for texting to that Labour should emulate.
Although he had to leave early (economy to save, car-industry to bail out etc) Peter Mandelson proved he still has the most stage prescence in the biz by simply being there – it’s not even always what he says but the way he says it. The web-campaign most alluded to was John Precott’s online petition to stop RBS doling out bonuses which you can put your name to via Facebook here. Apparently there are some 12,500 signatories. Prescott also appeared at the meeting in a video-message hand-crafted for Lord Mandelson in a clip chock-full-of inuendo about how he was rejuvenating himself with new technology.
Anyway, there were loads of people twittering it and live-blogging so I’m sure there are other accounts doing the rounds to check out. In short not my usual morning routine but a diverting couple of hours. You may have heard that Channel 4’s political awards last night named Mandy as “the politician’s politician”. Further proof – if proof were needed – of the man’s versatility comes from the rubbishly displayed pictures at the top is meant to portraying him strutting his stuff with Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Philips – phew!