The post below is a lie

It is an April Fool you see. Ho ho. Mind you, I’m not sure how many people are getting in on the action this, since most normal people don’t get up until after midday on a Sunday. (Not me unfortunately; I’m not normal enough.)

Anyway, this post is to say that, far from passing the roundup baton to someone else, I have moved it away from WordPress.com and to its very own website — Scottish Roundup.co.uk. How swish!

When I was writing this week’s roundup I started going into a bit of a rant about the fact that MPs have given themselves an allowance of £10,000 per year to operate a website (via Osama Saeed).

Although I allow myself to have opinions on the roundup, I thought the diatribe — although apt, given the site move and all — was a bit too much. So I’ve decided to just post it here instead:

Well, the roundup has just moved away from WordPress.com (free) but it still uses WordPress (free, as long as you have the webspace). I’ll let you into a secret — I’ve tacked Scottish Roundup on to the webspace I already owned for my other websites, so all the move cost was just over £6 for the domain name. Last month I paid just over £4.50 for the hosting account for the month (spread across three websites). So you can see, it isn’t expensive stuff.

Maybe an MP would claim that they need to do more complicated things than just a simple blog. But they don’t. A good few MPs have good blogs that work well and communicate their message to constituents. In short, blogs are great. And in a way, they are perfect for politicians. And sure, they might need to have somebody updating the website, but it is hardly a full time occupation.

Head over to WordPress.com or Blogger and set up a perfectly good website for free, rather than claiming £10,000 of taxpayers’ money to build a shoddy out-of-date website (because that’s what most MPs’ websites are).

3 comments

  1. Playing advocate.

    A lot of the time, MPs vote themselves a specific budget so that they’ve got aguideling as to what is acceptable, and it’s to save money. Before now, website expenses were filed under general office and publicity, it still happened, just no one knew how much they should spend.

    Then you have most MPs being both technophbes and horribly overworked already (and I’m serious about the overworked bit). So they need staff to do stuff, including likely paying someone to do the admin work on the site. Yes, thee and me can install WordPress, keep it secure and up to date. That puts us ahead of 95% of the population in terms of knowledge and technical skills. MPs don’t want (nor really need) those skills. So they employ somoen.

    MPs should have professional sites, that many don’t is a disgrace. So they shouldn’t be using WP.com or Blogger, they should have their own domain and have control over it. Which means they need to spend money. They now have a guideline for maximum spend including staffing costs for that specific task; guarantee some were claiming more than that, odds are one or two MPs had a full time staffer dedicated to their site and claimed for.

    £10K is part time at most, wouldn’t consider a job in London paying below about 18K, and taking costs into account you’re looking at one p/t staffer, which is probably right if they want to have a professional site.

  2. As we can see from these comments, the allowance has been approved because the web designers lobby is a strong one!