I was in London yesterday and attended a meeting about MPs and blogging, organized by the All Party Group for e-Democracy (which is administered by the Hansard Society). The meeting - announced here and here - took place in the Grand Committee Room at Westminster Hall and was addressed by Tony Benn, Tom Watson MP, Clive Soley MP and James Crabtree, Director of the Work Foundation's iSociety. This was followed by a brief question and answer session before the MPs hurried off, just before 7.00, to vote on tuition fees. I found the meeting interesting, but won't attempt to summarize it all. Bill Thompson has posted an account of what the speakers said. My main thought on the subject echoes a point which Tony Benn - with whom I don't always agree - interjected during the discussion session. He said something along the lines: now that the technology is there, the thing will certainly happen. That's my feeling. There may be needs particular to the blogging MP which other bloggers don't share or even know about. I don't have anything useful to say about this; it's an issue the All Party Group for e-Democracy will likely focus on. But I don't think it's going to take a huge or special effort for the start that's been made by Tom Watson and Clive Soley - possibly others I don't know about - to be followed. My hunch is that this will sweep forward. Trying to push it along, though it can't do any harm, may be a bit like trying to help the tide come in using a bucket.
A personal footnote. I was glad to have the opportunity while in London of meeting some people whom I'd hitherto only communicated with electronically and/or by phone. I had lunch with Oliver Kamm, and then went off to have a drink with Jackie D, also bound for the meeting at Westminster Hall. Jackie introduced me to her friend Paul, supporter of a certain football club in the Manchester area. These encounters and conversations covered blogging-related matters, naturally, but amongst much else. I was also able to say hello briefly to Tom Watson as the Westminster meeting was dispersing. I returned home after a very pleasant day.