Friday, 12 September 2008

WAG and the Assembly Commission catching up with the times...eventually

There have been developments within the Assembly corridors in relation questions on blogging and social networking. Assembly Member and Welsh blogfather, Peter Black, has been asking the First Minister certain questions relating to 'principles for participation online'

Peter Black AM has received the following response from the First Minister:

Following the discussion on this blog and others following Miss Wagstaff's exclusion from Facebook at the beginning of August I have now had a reply to my question to the First Minister as to whether the UK Civil Service guidelines entitled 'principles for participation on-line' apply to employees of the Welsh Assembly Government.

In a letter to me Rhodri Morgan explains: 'All civil servants are subject to the requirements of the Civil Service Code. Separate Codes exist in Wales, Scotland and England reflecting the differing legal position of civil servants in relation to their respective ministerial accountability. A Welsh Assembly Government Civil Service Code was introduced in July 2007 reflecting the legal position of civil servants in relation to Welsh Ministers. The provisions within the Assembly Government Code are the same as those that apply to Whitehall Departments and other devolved administrations.The 'principles for participation on-line' are published by the Cabinet Office as guidance for all civil servants with reference to how they relate to the Civil Service Code. Work is underway to supplement the Assembly Government ICT Usage Policy with a social network and blogging policy to ensure that the principles are reflected in the new policy.'In other words, watch this space. I think some more questions need to be tabled on timescales.

In a more recent post, Peter Black reports that he has received more information on the matter, which demonstrates that the Assembly Government has finally woken up to the internet, but is still drowsy:
I reported a week ago that the Welsh Assembly Government are putting together a social network and blogging policy for its employees to reflect the UK Civil Service guidelines entitled 'principles for participation on-line'. I now have more information.

In an answer to a written question Rhodri Morgan tells me that 'the Social Networking and Blogging Policy is currently under development, the first draft is expected to be complete by 18 September 2008. Following completion of the draft, the policy will be put to consultation with Legal Services, Human Resources and Trade Union Side. The agreed period for consultations of this nature is eight weeks. Provided that further amendments are not required, the policy should be communicated to staff at the beginning of December.'

The Assembly Commission is also developing its own policy
This has no impact on me as I am not a servant of the State, but I did make me review my previous posts. Looking back over the last several months, it does bring some former discussions back to life...
Why was Christopher Glamorganshire sacked from the staff of the Welsh Assembly Government if no blogging policy was in existence?

I've recently reviewed the online media and there's still no mention of a tribunal, and little relevance in the argument of not abiding to the civil service code on either the UK government website or that of the Assembly Government.
I shouldn't admit to reading blogs while on holiday. Will have to write further on this when I return to blogging in the next two weeks.


Anonymous 13 September 2008 at 12:30  

....because it questions the authority of the South Wales Stasi!

G Lewis
Bridgend Lib Dems

democracy now! 13 September 2008 at 18:47  

"Assembly Member and Welsh blogfather, Peter Black...."

The only reason Black is regarded as this is because as a Regional AM, he has no constituency and therefore no constituents to represent. He has nothing else to do but immerse himself (and his huge ego) in his damn blog!

Has anyone else noticed that the most popular blogs written by politicians in Wales are Peter Black and Bethan Jenkins - BOTH Regional AMs.

This is NO coincidence. They have so much time on their hands, they are forced to fill the void by writing drivel on blogs.

Constituency AMs on the other hand, fill their days by doing much more important things, such as, actually helping the people who voted for them!

Regional AM dont have to bother heads with such trivial matters, so to relieve the boredom, they start up a blog and opine endlessly! It gets even worse than that as they can write the most outrageous rubbish ever penned (and frequently do!) and guess what? The voters (us) can't vote against them because their names NEVER appear on a ballot paper! They are immune from the democratic process.

Black and Jenkins are the first to blather about the importance of democracy! They patently don't know the meaning of the word!

Of course, the final insult folks, is that while these two blog away every day, WE the taxpayer have the privilege of paying for them to do it.

Wake up Wales! We deserve better than blogging Regional AMs with nothing better to do with their time. We need our political representatives to work for us not their own blog ratings and getting awarded childish graphics to stick on their blog frontpages.

Enough! This is not democracy - its taking the......

Anonymous 14 September 2008 at 15:50  

I seem to remember the South Wales Stasi having something of a hate campaign against the aforementioned Black saying "...he's an unelected member of the Welsh Assembly..." at every opportunity.

I can remember seeing a "newspaper" article (Newspaper in inverted comers, since it was the South Wales Evening Post) quoting the likes of Noel Crowley, and I think I can remember Jeff J. Jones a.k.a. Garth Vader saying something along the same lines.

It would certainly appear that Labour isn’t too enthralled with the Second Vote at Assembly Election Time even though it was their Government which introduced it.

garth maul 14 September 2008 at 16:34  

The fact you didn't disagree with the general thrust of previous comment, suggests that person does have a point though.

Anonymous 14 September 2008 at 19:17  

It's the job of the opposition to oppose - blogging is a good way of highlighting the inadiquacies of the ruling administration.

Black is a hard working AM; More LCOs than most

mutleythedog 14 September 2008 at 20:15  

Blimey wales is a weird place!!

democracy now! 14 September 2008 at 20:59  

Anon 19:17.......Peter Black has no constituency and therefore no constituents to look after.

There is no comparison between his workload and that of an average constituency AM, that's why he has so many countless hours on his hands.

If he (and other blogging Regional AMs) had REAL people to help on a daily basis, he would not have time to write a daft blog!

Constituency AMs are far too busy writing letters on behalf the people they represent - not indulging themselves in nonsense like blogging.

Look - don't believe me - check for yourself just how many Regional AMs have blogs.

I rest my case! They are freeloaders and expensive freeloaders at that!

And excuse me, surely the PRIMARY purpose of any elected Member is to represent his or her constituents to the best of their ability - not to highlight anyone's inadequacies!

What a strange concept of representative politics you have.

Having said that of course, no one has ever voted for Peter Black - he is list AM. Worse still, this part of the world can vote him out of office either! We are lumbered with him and his damn blog for ever!

Wake up Wales!

Anonymous 15 September 2008 at 10:16  

Democracy Now! What a joke you are; obviously a member of the Labour Party!

Peter Black does have a constituency, it's called South West Wales and it covers the counties of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.

Yes people have voted for him on the second election paper, under the words "Welsh Liberal Democrats" is the candidates in order.

The argument went out in 2004 with the likes of Jeff J Jones and Noel Crowley.

And whilst on the subject of democracy, Labour has 42% of the votes in Bridgend and gets 50% of the Seats, and a working majority thanks to a Plaid councillor joining the labour group like a rat joining the sinking ship!!!!

Wake up Wales, those who vote for Labour are in the Minority! Only 49% of people voted Labour in Neath Port Talbot, Taibach was known as little Moscow, you can't get much Redder than NPT yet, only 49% of the electorate Voted Labour.


Labour's not working 15 September 2008 at 13:44  

Seems we have a few government supporters online. Usual suspects??

Dr. Christopher Wood 16 September 2008 at 08:26  

I took a friendly (keeping him on form) dig at Peter in yesterday's Cardiff Echo. I often don't agree with Peter, but one thing I do know is that he is very hard working as evidenced by the fact that he really does spend a lot of time blogging on his blog.

No seriously, Peter is very hard working – at least as hard working as his party. Just look at the accomplishments of the Welsh Lib Dems - as evidenced by that road they are building in Bute Park, Cardiff and they worked so hard to do away with the green lung at Eastern Leisure Centre in Cardiff.

No seriously ...

Anonymous 18 September 2008 at 13:17  

To those people who think that Peter Black does nothing all day, next time you have an issue worth raising or a problem needing casework doing, write to your constituency AM and your regional AMs and see who replies.

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