Monday 2 February 2009

The casual abuse of government

Hazel Blears spoke to a load of Labour candidates recently, and Progress magazine covered it. The story has been covered in quite a few media outlets, but mainly because of her strange comment;

Campaigning is like sex – if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not doing it right.
They missed some of the other stuff that I think is quite important. Let's have a look:

1) Use Labour’s incumbency to your advantage. You may not be the MP, but can the MP get in to see ministers to present petitions? Or take constituents to Downing Street? Or have their photo taken with the chancellor of the exchequer, foreign secretary, or prime minister? They can’t and you can. So don’t start out as the junior partner. Act like the MP – getting things done for local people.
Really? Is it the position of this Secretary of State that Labour candidates get preferential access to Ministers? Can she really be saying that Labour candidates will be allowed to use Government properties for party political campaigning? Well, it contravenes the Ministerial Code, for one thing;

i. Ministers must not use government resources for party political purposes
Back to Hazel;
4) Make use of new media: your website, blog, twittering, facebook, etc should all work to project your image and reach out to voters. But be careful: because every word you write or utter will be scrutinised by our enemies, and you don’t want to become a national story like some of the Tories.

Mind how you go!

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