Offline and Off-Message

Did you hear about the local Vauxhall MP who opened up a fancy new election office in Kennington, but somehow overlooked the prolonged time period it takes to get broadband up and running?

Whoops.

I’m hearing that Tally Hoey has been cut off from the outside world (figuratively speaking) with no modern interweb to engage with the electorate in Vauxhall.

You can’t beat face-to-face debate with your constituents ahead of you shoe in back to Westminster on May 6th. But online engagement is also good for democracy.

To be fair to Tally Hoey, she was one of the few Labour MP’s who spoke out against the railroad approach taken to rush through the Digital Economy Bill during the fag end of the last Parliament.

The humiliating climbdown for Nu Labour was to let the 50p broadband tax be dropped, in favour of a witch-hunt for criminalising file sharers.

But with other PPC’s in the ward managing a decent balance between an online and offline campaign, Vauxhall would have been served better if the sitting MP was able to actually get online.

The lack of online access has already been trotted out by Tally Hoey as a poor excuse for not yet signing up to the Vote Bike manifesto, as put forward by the CTC.

Vauxhall may be lacking in a decent general election campaign, but it is certainly not lacking in cheap internet cafes. Perhaps the lack of broadband for Tally Hoey in Kennington explains why her site is still borked?

No modern interweb may be the excuse for the delay in supporting cyclists, but it doesn’t explain the non-appearance at the Stop the War hustings in Brixton this week. Tally Hoey did kindly leave an email address for constituents to contact her, but given her offline status, I’m not holding out for a reply.

I don’t quite buy into the idea of the online election. Witness the power of the Leader’s Debate, and the traditional power base still held by mainstream media.

Still, if other local (ish) PPC / prospective Oval ward Councillors are able to get online around my little patch of South London, then I wonder what is wrong with Tally Hoey?

Now there’s a blog post waiting to happen…

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