ARTYFACTS: Edinburgh festival: Festival of Politics - Facebook

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Edinburgh festival: Festival of Politics - Facebook

Very strange event. Old guy in a suit and tie flanked by a young guy in a suit and identical tie and a young girl from peebles. The young man read a writted page or two, clearly shwoing no real talent for courtroom interrogation and the young girl, to her credit, warned against seeing this stuff in too rosy a light.

Kicked off with a weird question:
Do you believe new media tools, such as social networking, are passing trends or here to stay?

This is a logical mess and had to be untangled by our chair, who is the head of the Scottish Law Society, and a shaker and mover in legislative matters in the Scottish parliament. How can these people shape legislation in Scotland if they can't shape a sentence? he kept referring to the 'intranet' (sic) then quoted an Archbishop as an expert on new media.

We then had two MPs (MSPs) to comment, a blatant act of undemocratic favouritism, which new media, hopefully is meant to eradicate. One complained that it was all too much and he wished people would just use email, as he was a very busy man. The other rambled.

It was the young people in the audience who added the sophistication, pointing out that online stuff was just an enlargement of real world activity and notheing to be worried about - move on was her prescription. Another pointed out that Twitter was a more appropriate medium than facebook for polling opinion and political effort - agreed. Yet another thought that any potential MP who was not online, would be seen as unworthy of election by young people.


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