What with it being election time, The Blogger thought he better find out a bit about the candidates standing, party manifestos and the like. Where better to look than the internet?
Um, anywhere really, judging by the miserable efforts made by the candidates and their parties to publicise themselves and explain what they intend to do for the city.
The Blogger’s first port of call was the Bristol Liberal Democrats site where he found the following ‘current’ news story:
Call for right to row your boat
Tue 30th Jan 2007
Lockleaze Lib Dem Cllr Sean Emmett is calling on people to support a campaign for greater access to rivers in England & Wales for canoeists and users of other unpowered craft.
So that’s the canoeist vote sewn up then. But what about election information? Candidates? Policies? Promises? Anything?
Wait… Yes! there’s a button marked ‘Manifesto’!
Oh dear. It’s not really a manifesto is it? More a series of vague, self-evidently decent aspirations with no indication of how they might be achieved. No mention here of privatising social services; handing schools to private firms; rewriting planning permissions for corporate developers; cutting school curricula to save money; more handouts to First Bus; plans to build tens of thousands of houses on green space; Bristol Airport expansion or any other actual policy pursued by the Lib Dems over the last year.
Then comes the payoff: “We are currently working on our manifesto for 2007 – 2009.” Marvellous. Feel free to let us know when you bother to get around to it won’t you?
The Blogger also checked The Bristol East Lib Dem site. The big story there:
Tories play catchup on global warming
Sun 11th Mar 2007
The Conservatives are to announce that they now think it is a good idea that air travel be accountable for the greenhouse gases airliners emit, contributing to climate change.
He also tried the Bristol West Lib Dem site only to find a patronising message from patronising Stephen Williams MP that doesn’t mention local elections…
So how about the Labour Party then? Well there’s a url for Bristol Labour – http://www.bristollabourparty.org.uk/ – but go to it and you’re redirected to the national site. That’s right. The Labour Party does not even have a site for Bristol let alone anything on the local elections. (Also note that if you google ‘Bristol Labour Party’ The Blogger, now in his third week, is the third result)
Perhaps The Bristol Labour Party should remember what their boss said back in 2000:
“If we live up to the challenge of the knowledge economy, we can reverse the decades of decline we suffered in the 20th Century and become one of the world’s most successful economies in the 21st Century.”
So much for the party of government. What about the official opposition? The Conservatives are the party of the future now aren’t they? What with Webcameron and all that it’s bound to be good isn’t it?
In the sense that Bristol Conservatives are non-existent on the web. Yes. Here’s the url: http://www.bristolconservatives.com/ and to save you time here’s the message: ‘This site is currently unavailable’.