Big Converation - Big Con?

#1
I understand Tony Bliar is consulting the nation via www.bigconversation.org.uk. (Un)fortunately, I do not seem to be able to access the site. What I am not sure, at this stage, is if this is a Governmental conversation or a New Labour one. The domain name is registered to the Labour Party as below:

Domain Name: bigconversation.org.uk

Registrant: Labour Party

Registrant's Address:
16 Old Queen Street
London
London
SW1H 9HP
GB


I wonder if public money is being used for a Party political exercise?
 
#2
Gas,

I just had a gander and all seems 'well' with the web site. Try http://www.bigconversation.org.uk

I think it's a good idea in theory to open up a public debate, but surely he will chose to answer only the easier questions. Also, the vast majority of the public know very little about politics and therefore can not ask a question which is suitably pitched to the PM, and if they do manage it, he will probably say he'll do it and not follow it though.

The big conversation would not be needed if the press were to ask the 'right' questions rather than chasing after scandal all the time.

The web site is pretty unimpressive too by the way Mr BLiar. :?
 
#3
At the bottom of the website, it says:
Promoted by David Triesman, General Secretary, The Labour Party, 16 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP
Further to this:
The big conversation is a way of enriching the Labour Party’s policy making process by listening to the British people about their priorities for the future.
:lol:
I've never heard such a bag of b*llocks!
 
#4
I emailed regarding the proposed defence cuts. I received an automated 'your-contribution-is-important-to-us-but-we-can't-reply-to-everyone' brush-off response. :evil:

Typical Labour - no substance to anything they do.

Presumably the computer pushing out replies is in India.
 
#5
Like so many of the activities of New Labour the "big conversation" is just another PR stunt.

From the Daily Telegraph, 30th November 2003:


Revealed: Labour's Big Conversation is a fix
By Susan Bisset and Chris Hastings

Labour's new initiative to listen to voters, The Big Conversation, appears to be a big con: a Telegraph investigation has revealed that party officials have handpicked contributors - and have then edited out their negative comments.

Tony Blair talks to locals at the Ringland Labour Club in South Wales
The disclosure will be an embarrassment for Tony Blair, who launched the exercise on Friday, saying it was proof that the Government was listening to the people of Britain.

The Prime Minister called for "an honest and serious debate about the future", and urged voters to text or e-mail their views to a special website, www.bigconversation.org.uk

The Telegraph discovered yesterday, however, that many of the stories on the website were crafted by Labour officials who interviewed carefully selected individuals known to be broadly sympathetic to Labour - and then cut out any negative comments.

Andy Saxon, a 30-year-old member of Friends of the Earth and Amnesty International, said: "The Labour Party asked me if I would like to contribute to the website. I am not saying I am unhappy with what appeared because they have outlined my views on green issues. They did, however, exclude criticisms I had made about David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, and his recent pronouncements."

Lindi Maqhubela, 33, a former worker for the Green Party, noted that some of her negative comments, criticising the Prime Minister over Iraq, were excluded.

"I spoke for 20 minutes and they have taken the sentences they wanted," she said. "I think Britain is not adhering to international law. They did not add that and I don't know why. I hope it wasn't deliberate."

E-mails attacking government policy on tuition fees, foundation hospitals, crime and transport - as well as some supporting Michael Howard's Tories - were also ignored.

Last night a Labour spokesman admitted it had contacted specific individuals to get the website up and running. He confirmed that submissions had been "edited" but claimed that there was no question of cutting out anti-government material.
 

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