I saw Michael Cross's article about e-democracy projects. He has kindly referred to a project that I've been working on for a few years to give Councillors their own websites.
While I’m usually very happy with Michael Cross’s coverage of the work we’re all doing on Councillor sites, I think I his sub-editor may have slightly re-interpreted what I said about the need for legal change. (I’m guessing it was the sub-editor in this case).
Just for clarification purposes, Professor Coleman may not be keen on legal changes, but personally I’m broadly in favour of something being done. When I spoke to Michael, I said that I thought something should be done on this issue, but I did add that some people thought that the political rules had a unintended benefit of discouraging political grand-standing and that – in my view – political leadership is as important on this subject as any legal change.
Otherwise it's an excellent article - and if Michael sees this post, I hope he doesn't feel unfairly criticised here ;-)
I think that the rules on 'political communication' that infect large sections of the public sector are a convienient mask for a profoundly anti-democratic outlook in some sections of the civil service. This is a theme I will be returning to, so keep your eyes peeled....