Following on from the Hansard Society report into UK Political Weblogs (PDF report here), the Guardian keeps the spotlight on this area with this story, basically encouraging MPs to get blogging.

There has been much said on this topic in blogsphere of late. And with good reason. So I’m not going to repeat it here.

But I would like to highlight a few bits of the Guardian article.

“Although the public might think otherwise, a lot of MPs do not have a great deal of money,” explains Ferguson. “Most are short-staffed and short of time but the blogging platform is going to be really useful to MPs because it cuts down the price of the maintenance costs of their websites. Blogs costs virtually nothing.”

Blogs do cost very little to setup. From a technological point of view, there is very little stopping the main political parties from setting up central blog infrastructure and providing default design templates and saying ‘get on with it’. I mean, to a greater of lesser degree that is what the LDs already do - their local party sites are all similar in look and feel.

But we know how difficult it can be to get tecknology (sic) on the agenda.

Why are MPs reluctant to get direct with their online ineractions? Labour’s Richard Allan, MP for Sheffield Hallam says “To be perfectly frank, when I talk to colleagues, they are concerned about their reputations and by being too honest. MPs are worried [about blogs] because they don’t want things taken down and quoted back at them. But a blog only works if it is personal and honest.

I’m having trouble working out why my elected representitive would be concerned about being too honest. And while I agree that quote/unquote journalism is obstructive to progress and change in opinion and mood, it is important that honesty and integrity are at the front of communications with the people.

Which is why I don’t want to see a US-ian style - staff written with approved spin - of weblog from UK politians.

So what’s next - that’s the question a few of us have been asking. Thinking caps on indeed.