Jim Cousins

or "Not the real Jim Cousins Blog".

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Hello Jim, goodbye not the real Jim?

I've had an email from Shane McCracken who has been doing some research on what MP's think of their blogs being run by proxy. After he had emailed Jim, Jim's constituency researcher telephoned him to ask him if he was not the real Jim Cousins. Of course he isn't - I am!

I've just had a call from his constituency researcher asking what my interest was in the matter and to find out if I was "NTRJC"

I think the researcher seemed a little panicked as though the idea of a proxy blog was a dangerous thing. I think you'll have a reaction from Jim soon.
About the same time I had a hit on pretty much every page from the same person so I'm guessing that was the researcher. So Jim are you ready to claim your free blog? No strings attached whatsoever except the promise to keep it updated so we, your constituents, know what you are doing. It'd also be a handy place for online surgeries.

So the current situation is that I know that Jim knows about the blog and offer. Now I've posted this the whole world knows that I know that Jim knows about this blog. As the Guardian pointed out today you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't bother. Talk to me Jim. I'll even show you how to post and give you some technical support in your first few months.

Jim Cousins' Blog gets another mention in the Guardian

In an article titled "Falling through the net" the Guardian discusses MPs and blogging - or more accurately their lack of blogging and the fact the vacuum is being filled by proxy bloggers who may or may not be sympathetic to the MP they are proxy blogging for.

"'With the technology available, it's very, very easy for anybody to get online with a free weblog and to source all of the information they need to track their local MP,' says Ireland. The power of the blog can be illustrated by Ireland's blog dedicated to Tory MP Tim Yeo. Ireland's blog is the first entry in Google for the MP for Suffolk South, higher than the official profile on the Conservative Party site and the most likely place a prospective voter is likely to visit.

What's more, a number of bloggers have taken Ireland's suggestion. Now, MPs Jim Cousins, Sandra Gidley, Boris Johnson, Alan Milburn, Sarah Teather, Nick Raynsford and Lewis Mooney all have blogs dedicated to them and most are not friendly. The moral is: if you don't launch your own blog, someone might do it for you."
See the sidebar to the right for links to all the proxy blogs mentioned as the Guardian doesn't bother giving links for them as Chunter also points out. Luckily for Jim I'm one of the friendly ones. The offer in the profile still stands. Go on Jim - you know you want to.

In a somewhat related post it looks like Tim Yeo Ireland has come to the same conclusion - give it to them for free then they have no excuse not to take you up. If they do refuse they just look like the laziest luddites in the world. Wouldn't want one of those for my MP. ;)

See here for previous mention in the Guardian.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Jim Cousins backs congestion charges for Newcastle

The Evening Chronicle is reporting that Jim Cousins is backing congestion charges for Newcastle. Jim would like to see residents exempt from charges as they are in London. In addition to charges Jim would also

like to see park and ride facilities at stations such as Almouth and Morpeth. By tackling long-distance commuting we could tackle the traffic congestion on roads like the A1 Western bypass, which is getting like the M25 around London.
The A1 Western bypass has obviously been on Jim's mind as he asked a question about traffic levels on it a few weeks ago. I still think if they sorted out the constant roadworks and building traffic it would be much easier to travel across Newcastle.

Read Evening Chronicle article here.
Read BBC article about the Government's plans to reduce congestion here.
Read the Guardian's Editor briefing on the Government's plans here. See the BBC site about the congestion charge in London here and case studies elsewhere.