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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Bloggers take on politicians
House of Commons
The House of Commons can seem inaccessible to many
Bloggers have gone to the House of Commons to try to persuade more politicians to share their interest and passions on the web.

They took part in a meeting at Westminster on Monday designed to look at how weblogs can be used in politics, particularly in the light of their increasing use in the US.

There was so much interest in the meeting that the organisers, online think tank Voxpolitics, had to hire a bigger room.

"Blogs are an exceptionally good way of talking to people who are interested in what you do," said Voxpolitics director James Crabtree.

"They could provide a place for people to go and see what MPs are doing, what they are thinking about."

Transparent tool

A blogging generation will be interested in an MP who blogs, because they themselves run blogs
James Crabtree, Voxpolitics
So far, only two MPs - Tom Watson and Richard Allan - have blogs. This contrasts sharply with the US, where blogging politicians are becoming commonplace.

However, the organisers of the meeting are confident that within five or six years, every MP will have a blog.

"Blogs can provide politicians with a human, more accessible face," said Mr Crabtree, "they are a tool for transparency and openness."

This electronic medium is seen as a way of reaching people who feel disconnected with the goings-on in the Houses of Parliament.

But experts acknowledge that blogs alone will not be enough to attract people who are not simply interested in politics.

Instead they are seen as a valuable tool that can be used to reach a younger generation for whom the internet is part of everyday life.

"A blogging generation will be interested in an MP who blogs, because they themselves run blogs," said Mr Crabtree.

But he admits that not all blogs will be popular, admitting that some politicians will run awful ones.

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