Speaking the morning at the Irish Management Institute the government’s Minister for Information Society in the Department of the Taoiseach, Tom Kitt TD said that government cannot be swayed by obsessive bloggers but must give equal voice to people who don’t have time to have narrowly focussed opinions. Info supplied by a pair of incredulous blogger ears in the room by SMS, so direct quote not guaranteed.
A couple of questions occur to me in response to the ideas sewn into this statement.
Firstly, the possibility that the government considered whether to be swayed by bloggers and then consciously decided against it is pleasing.
Secondly, it is confirmation that the government didn’t really know what an information society would look like when they created a (Junior) Ministry to promote it. Now that it is taking its first, skeletal, form- informed citizens demanding more detailed answers than generalist journalists ever could- they know they don’t like it.
Other than upping the chances of John Waters’ appointment as Government Press Secretary, what other inferences might we draw from Mr. Kitt’s statement of intent?
UPDATE: Also at today’s IMI do, the Assistant Director of the Local Government Computer Services Board takes the chance to grumble about the carefree nature of bloggers- “if all the bloggers in the country tell me I should go with industry standard x and I go with it, will the bloggers stand with me if it goes wrong”. Those pesky bloggers with their opinions!
Is this bee in the bonnet of Government about bloggers new? Perhaps there’s nothing like 400 people getting together in a room- uncontrolled people- to make something move from harmless hobby to dangerous subversion.
UPDATE 2: The text of the Minister’s comment is now posted on the Department of Taoiseach’s website.
Indeed, this also holds for the democratic processes themselves where simply facilitating those who want to be heard is not good enough where we need to ensure that we are not overly swayed by obsessive bloggers where we have to make sure that those who do not have the time or the inclination to voice their views and opinions in public, can still get continued democratic representation.
No great change from the reported comments above there. With thanks to Daragh O’Brien, who pointed the speech out in the comments below.