I’d like to thank Lynne for taking the time to answer these questions, it is, as ever, very much appreciated.
Lynne served on the London Assembly 2000-5, before being elected as the Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green. Lynne has chaired the Transport Committee and also served on the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA).
As well as being number two in the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team in Parliament and the party’s London spokesperson, she was the Liberal Democrats’ Shadow Cabinet as International Development spokesperson. In December 2007, after Nick Clegg’s election as party leader, she switched to the role of Youth and Equalities Spokesperson in the Shadow Cabinet.
What is the value to you as an MP, of having a blog?
Many! I get things off my chest – so to speak. I cut out the middle man (ie the media) in saying what I want said. I inform my constituents some of what I am doing and thinking. I hear back from them as to what they think of what I am thinking and doing. I get my stories out there – to the wider world and to the media. I can highlight issues that might otherwise not receive what I view as appropriate attention. It affords me a way of thinking through what I do think – particularly on tricky issues. And it is a good discipline in general. And it will be a record of sorts of my years of elected public service and a snapshot of political life for its duration.
In what ways can the political sphere, particularly that of Westminster, engage with bloggers and the online media?
Well – the minute it becomes overly purpose driven is probably the moment it loses its real appeal. So far, it would seem from recent debacle – Westminster (well Labour) see it as a way to spread vicious rumours. It is a fabulous way to spread stuff and engage with different groups interested in particulare issues, but my own view is that this has to be for the purpose of good rather than bad. If it is about the nasty underbelly of politics then it will become as devalued as politics currently is at Westminster
As the importance and relevance of online media becomes more widely discussed in the wider public, how do you think this will affect blogging politicians?
Not committing political suicide is important – as gettting elected and re-elected goes with the territory. But if we become over-conscious or chilled in the issues we tackle or what we say – then the people won’t come! They will die away from boredom.
In what ways can current blogging politicians encourage non-blogging politicians to enter the blogosphere?
To be brave. Not to worry about size of readership or engagement. And not to spend hours pondering over every blog post. No time for that. Just be yourself!