Wednesday, 21 November 2007

AM Bloggers up against the Standards Committee

This evening the Standards Committee is considering the use of blog sites by Assembly Members. Committee Members are going to "consider the issue of Members publishing to blog sites and the potential for this to result in breaches of the Code of Conduct, and consider whether to issue a note to Members regarding the use of blogs".

Standards of Conduct Committee, Agenda STD(3)-03-07
Date: Wednesday 21 November 2007, 6.00 - 7.30pm, Committee Room 2

  1. Apologies
  2. Nomination of committee member under Section 10.2 of the Complaints Procedure (6.00 - 6.05pm)
  3. Review and Revisions to the Complaints Procedure (6.05 - 6.25pm)
    Paper STD(3) 03-07 (p1) Review and Revisions of the Complaints Procedure
    Committee Members are invited to consider the paper produced by the Secretariat in relation to the good practice review of procedure following each complaint.
  4. Ministerial Code (6.25 - 6.35pm)
    Paper STD(3) 03-07 (p2) Ministerial Code
  5. Status of the commissioner for Standards (6.35 - 6.45pm)
    Paper STD(3) 03-07 (p3)
  6. Use of Blog Sites by Members (6.45 - 7.05pm)
    Committee Members are invited to consider the issue of Members publishing to blog sites and the potential for this to result in breaches of the Code of Conduct, and consider whether to issue a note to Members regarding the use of blogs
  7. Chair’s Visit to Strathclyde University (7.05 - 7.15pm)
    Paper STD(3) 03-07 (p4)

Committee Membership:
Jeff Cuthbert, Labour (Caerphilly)
Christopher Franks, Plaid Cymru (South Wales Central)
Brynle Williams, Welsh Conservative Party (North Wales)
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrats (Brecon and Radnorshire)

Most blogs by Assembly Members consist of nothing more than surgery dates, advertising of local events, and letting us know that they are "Working Hard for You". There are a few well-worth reading and add something special to the political debate, and I think you know which ones I'm talking about. Let's hope they have a say in the matter and have briefed their colleagues well.

Good luck, Members!

Update: From the BBC at 15:20 and the blog of Peter Black AM at 15:43 including the following little gem from Peter:
People often complain about the creation of a nanny state. It seems that the nanny state culture is alive and well within the National Assembly for Wales itself... What will they seek to issue guidance on next, press releases, pamphlets, how to frame an attack on your own party leader, lectures to the Institute of Welsh Politics?


Anonymous 21 November 2007 at 12:21  

I suggest you remove the Facebook profile from your blog as it's messing up the layout. Your account has been suspended after a complaint from the Nats.

Holey Moley 21 November 2007 at 13:04  

You've got to love the Nats! As humourless as they are stupid.

Miss Wagstaff 21 November 2007 at 13:06  

It's true that my Facebook account has been suspended, but I imagine it's just a technical hitch.

As there's nothing wrong with inviting people from all political persuasions to be my Facebook friend, no harm as been done. The majority have been eager and numbers swell to around 90 at my last look. I'll remove the link in the meantime as it's spoiling the layout of the blog. Thanks for keeping me informed. x

Anonymous 21 November 2007 at 13:47  

Maybe the committee could llok into the mysterious case of the missing comments from Leighton Andrews' blog. Either no one reads his site, or he censors all the comments. Either way, a bit sad!

Miss Wagstaff 21 November 2007 at 13:52  

I understand he was classed at one time as a pioneer of Assembly bloggers. I guess being a Minister ended all that for him.

Peter Black 21 November 2007 at 15:32  

If he was a pioneer then he was very late to the party.

Miss Wagstaff 21 November 2007 at 15:51  

I know you were the original, Peter. I guess he must claim it due to his background in the media :)

Anonymous 21 November 2007 at 15:57  

In the case of Jeff Cuthbert me thinks that it is once a trot always a trot. He probably thinks that blogging is all part of a Menshevik and Social Revolutionary plot to stop the serene assembly bringing socialism to Wales. You had to laugh at Cuthbert's stern features on today's AM PM as the Tory Arthur Askey, Alun Cairns defended British free speech.

Anonymous 21 November 2007 at 20:08  

The current committee members are clearly not the best judges in this instance.

Peter Black 21 November 2007 at 21:58  

I am glad you liked the quote, I spent some time on getting that right. :-)

Carl 22 November 2007 at 11:13  

Case in point - Bethan Jenkins cariied a prticularly nasty and untrue post about Huw Lewis and one of his staff earlier today. Comments went ape, and Bethahn took it down. Still no apology from her, though.

In the spotlight 22 November 2007 at 11:37  

I read her post last night and there were no comments. What was said this morning... anyone know?

Peter Black 22 November 2007 at 14:53  

It is worth pointing out Carl that what the Standards Committee agreed would not have prevented Bethan carrying that post.

Carl 22 November 2007 at 15:52  

Well that's a real shame, as it was spiteful in the extreme.

FredaSpeech 22 November 2007 at 17:19  

wooooooo missed the post what was it

Anonymous 22 November 2007 at 19:33  

welsh labour members introducing the Nanny State, that's International Headline News surely :)

I was wondering when WAG would get round to 'making rules' for blogs Welsh Labour doesn't like or want is position challenged as Top Dog this side of the Severn Bridge, at least the welsh blogs including some of our AM's can give you a view that's not Welsh Labour, BBC Wales, ITV Wales or Trinty Group Newspapers view of issues and that can only be good for democracy.

Anonymous 22 November 2007 at 19:34  

The voters should have the decisive say about an elected representative not some code.

BBC UK Politics

BBC Welsh Politics


Welsh Political News

UK News from Times Online

Telegraph Politics


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