E-democracy conflab joy


Are they keeping this a secret so that selected council staff can scoff all the tax payer-funded canapés themselves?

An alert reader flags up the forthcoming Bristol E-Democracy Day – ‘Modern Methods of governance – democracy in action or mob rule?’ – taking place on 31 October 2007 at – where else? – the home of the city’s laptoperati, The Watershed.

The full programme of events is listed on the e-democracy pages of the council’s website and very exciting it is too.

What particularly appeals to The Blogger about an event that’s supposed to be concerned with democracy is that it offers two perspectives – ‘From the Council Perspective’ and ‘From the Member Perspective’. No room for us ordinary subjects of the city then? Where exactly is the ‘mob’ in this potential for mob rule?

You’ve got to laugh at these idiots really though haven’t you? Funding and organising themselves some cosy conference in a suitably tasteful and costly environment to talk about self-serving interpretations of internet democracy. Petitions have historically achieved nothing and everyone knows consultation is a pointless farce. Putting this kind of stuff on the net won’t change anything.

Highlights on the day include a welcome from “Mr Digital” himself, Labour’s money-man John Bees who can’t even seem to operate a pocket calculator properly and Green councillor Charlie Bolton talking about blogging, which promises to be a bit like listening to John Terry on ballet.

Places can be booked on the council’s site and it appears to be FREE!

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9 Responses to E-democracy conflab joy

  1. Bluebaldee says:

    A wonderful way to disenfranchise the poor and the non-IT literate.

    Wonder how much it cost?

  2. Charlie Bolton says:

    And there I was thinking, I must mention – the best blog in Bristol is BB’s. He merciless rips it out of all of us.

    So here is a challenge BB. WHat makes a good blog?

  3. thebristolblogger says:

    Ha, ha. Good try Charlie. But I’m afraid the rate for the job is £1,175 a day (that’s 0.5 days design and preparation and 0.5 days facilitation) to Bristol City Council.

    You’ve gotta love Bristol City Council haven’t you? A local with valuable insight and knowledge is basically considered worthless by them and should dish out their knowhow and skills over the internet for nothing.

    If I was from Nottingham or Portsmouth and had a load of dodgy skills you’d part with hundreds of thousands every year regardless.

    If I was part of the SWRDA-Connecting Bristol-Stephen Hilton-E-Democracy-Watershed gravy train I’d be in line for a £400k contract to put together a website attracting a couple of hundred visitors a year.

    If I was part of a Labour Party network I’d be in line for this £1,175 a day for doing the work of the average school teacher.

    If I’d hung around the Bristol volunaary sector like a bad smell for years on end achieving little you’d probably hand over £500 a day.

    But an ordinary Bristolian on low pay is worth nothing to you. Typical.

  4. Jozer says:

    If I’d hung around the Bristol voluntary sector like a bad smell for years on end achieving little you’d probably hand over £500 a day.

    Ohhhh! Thinking of anyone in particular?

    BTW. New reaches me of a ‘local consultation’ excersise in St Pauls, where a Black person had the audacity to attend! Fortunatly he had the decency to keep his gob shut throughout.

  5. Shawn says:

    I admit to being one of the occassional Watershed dwelling Laptoperati, but I’ve still got to love that phrase!!!

    ha ha ha

  6. Paul Hulbert says:

    I went to the event today – very good it was too. There was a lot of concern about getting people involved in local affairs, and encouraging things like petitions even if they could be seen as “inconvenient”. It was an e-petition that saved the Park Street Banksy, after all – so you can’ t say that they achieve nothing.

    A strong message was that electronic consultations / petitions should be AS WELL AS, not instead of ordinary methods, so as not to exclude people.

    One speaker was one of the guys behind MySociety (e.g. the 10 Downing Street petition site). Another guy was working on a project for consultation via cable TV – it reaches a lot of homes without computers, and widens participation. Plus there was Mary Reid, one of the best political bloggers nationally.

    Oh yes, and as you predicted the sandwiches were very nice too. If I knew where to send them I’d have saved some for you. You should have booked in for a place yourself anyway, BB. Or were you doing a Banksy and being there incognito?

  7. thebristolblogger says:

    The Blogger did not attend the event. In common with most Bristolians we have jobs to do and can’t just swan off to all-day conferences like local government officers and voluntary sector types seem able and allowed to do.

    The irony of a conference on democracy when everyone’s at work presumably escapes you lot? Why not do it on an evening or weekend? Anyone would think they wanted to keep the hoi polloi away.

    On the matter of e-petitions, your Banksy example simply demonstrates how trivial they are. I couldn’t give a toss about graffiti. I’m concerned about education, transport, waste and home care, about the hopeless services I’m paying through the nose for year-in year-out.

    This sounds interesting though:

    encouraging things like petitions even if they could be seen as “inconvenient”

    The Blogger then will be attempting to set up a petition demanding the immediate and unconditional resignation of Heather Tomlinson. Watch this space!

  8. Overayard says:

    You can have my signature on that one!

    Could you ask her while you are there, why the council fails to give the GCSE results in terms of A*-C five GCSEs with maths and English.

    Could it be because the Flagship Academy run by the inspirational Principal Ray Priest (from the 10 Downing Street Website) has one of the worst sets of results in the UK? It was 18% last year, what is it this year?

  9. Pingback: An experiment in e-democracy: Tomlinson must go!!! « The Bristol Blogger

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