Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nadine Dorries: Madcap Also Ran Claims Princess Crown

The British Computer Society have apparently highly commended three of 40 MPs shortlisted for their website awards. According to a fascinating report a week ago in the local Sunday paper for one of the lucky winners. Also now on that lucky winner's own shiny "award-winning" blogsite.

All three have naturally enough featured in dispatches here at Labour of Love. Two of them as it goes in the last few days. Though not in fact for their amazing web design.

The "winners" according to the article are the sites of : Boris Johnson MP produced by web and blogstar Tim Ireland, hence caught up in Creosotemanov-gate, and actually fairly worthy of acclaim for function if not content. It works in all regards. It is well written. It is accessible. And it gives an insight into the blubbery grey jelly of nonsense inside its author's head. Then there's the strange effort of George Galloway MP. And finally and very much stranger there is the over-promoted Nadine Dorries MP.

Ms Dorries has translated this high commendation into a claim that she is named, and I quote, "Princess of the Blogs". The Mad Nad site, and very explicitly the blog she is allegedly Princess of, is a technological horror story. Poor navigation, no permalinks, now no comments, and close to the most air-headed "content" imaginable.

So, who on earth were the judges for this contest of site design, reader engagement and accessibility?

"The awards were judged by an expert panel which included Quentin Letts, parliamentary sketch writer for the Daily Mail, and Patrick Wintour, political editor of the Guardian."

No expense was spared in getting top computer experts don't you see? Letts is the one who writes hilariously of "well stroked pussy" in connection with a female MP. In his own desperately unamusing family blog at The Mail. The Guardian's Wintour is pretty much dyed in the wool old media as far as I know. There are others too, one or two with a modicum.

But I must say I was gob-smacked, whoever the judges are. Could this be true? Is Nads among the three top Websters in the House? The leading girl blogger?

Or has the Mid Beds MP perhaps been less than full and truthful in her disclosures? Did she really win anything? Never mind being dubbed "Princess of the Blogs" by the rather staid gentlemen and ladies of the BCS.

Ooops, do you know what? That sixth sense does come in handy at times. The winner was ... certainly NOT Nadine Dorries. Or Boris. Or George. It was in fact that estimable rabble rouser from Plaid - Mr Adam Price MP/AS.

So, Nads must have won some other sub category then? Well, er, no, sorry. The BBC report that Labour managed a clean sweep of the three category prizes:

Health Secretary Alan Johnson's website won the accessibility award (Other finalists: Malcolm Bruce MP, Adam Price MP). Paul Flynn's won for design (Other Finalists: Boris Johnson MP, Mike Wood MP). And colleague Derek Wyatt won for engagement (Other finalists: Richard Spring MP, Tom Brake MP).

So, was Nads the leading woman in the awards at least? "The Princess of Blogs" as she would have it? Sadly no. She was not. Lynne Featherstone MP joined Richard Benyon MP as the two overall runners up. Nads was roughly speaking joint 13th in the pecking order with Gorgeous George.

The Miliblog got some early press but played no part in the final analysis. In what looks horribly like an accusation of tokenism I'm told that insider nerds and geeks tongues are wagging ferociously that Nads was sneaked through ONLY as a token "other woman" and "radically chick lit at that". In a man's world.

I should get one of my chirpy researchers to email the BCS and test that hypothesis for me. These fourteen MP blogs were, I'm told enthusiastically - though perhaps not entirely reliably - chosen from just 40 of all extant MP sites that met the minimum requirements for accessibility. Meaning that 600 or so were even more pants than some of these.

Arguably 13th Equal. Which is quite a lot of places below Featherstone's joint second. Well isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the astro-turfing? Is that the right term.
May I repay the compliment by alerting people to my recent blog on Altrincham v Millwall

Chris Paul said...

It's not strictly astroturfing Miles if it is on topic!! AS mine includes references to Respect MP George Galloway in both links it is on topic. I'm not sure the words Altrincham or Millwall have appeared on my blog EVER before. So that's off topic.

I think it was Millwall in a 4th Round tie with Wycombe 73 or thereabouts who brough some scum who screwdrivered a fan to death at Wycombe Bus Station when I were a lad. Nice.

Chris Paul said...

PS Often big sticky puddles of gore there in those days

Tameside Eye said...

But I am the princess of blogging!

Chris Paul said...

You are the "priceless old blagger" I think you'll find.