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Is this a first?

I'm sure it can't be, but I can't think of another occasion on which an MP, let alone a shadow minister, has left comments on a blog. Regardless of whether it's a first or not, congratulations are due to Nearly Legal for getting a visit and a comment from Oliver Heald, who is apparently the shadow Constitutional Affairs bod.

Politicians have got into blogs in a small, and decidedly unsuccessful way so far. This could be because blogging is about crazed loners sounding off their dangerous ideas on subjects on which they are completely unqualified to comment. And of course we all know that politicians are the archetypal crazed loners, remarkable only for the dangerousness of their ideas and their extraordinary ignorance. When they make their opinions public, our understandable reaction is a bored "Tell us something we don't know".

So perhaps Oliver Heald has the right idea. (A politician with the right idea? Whatever next?) The way forward could be for the political classes to comment on other people's blogs rather than writing their own. It makes them look as if they are responding to people's concerns rather than articulating their own prejudices. It might make them appear as if they are servants - public servants - rather than a bunch of greedy charlatans on the make.

It's a neat trick really. It's almost a pity to have seen through it.

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