does anyone else think politicians should come on a web chat or not at all?

(20 Posts)
twofalls Fri 18-Mar-16 20:58:28

Am talking about the Junior Doctors thread a few weeks ago and Nicky Morgan today. Both allowed to basically spout their propaganda with no desire to actually answer questions? They are basically using the site as a party political broadcast and I really object.

Do you think politicians should only be allowed here (in their official capacity) on a web chat or not at all?

twofalls Fri 18-Mar-16 20:59:12

Sorry, typos in title. Should say come on web chat or not at all.

[Message from MNHQ - We've edited this for you now, OP]

antiqueroadhoe Fri 18-Mar-16 21:05:12

That happened before with Nicky Morgan on here.

It made me wonder if this is how the people of North Korea must feel.

twofalls Fri 18-Mar-16 21:10:48

I wonder what hold the Tory party must have over MN. Am actually really angry they get to use us like this.

On the plus side these politicians and their arguments tend to get torn to shreds but I still object.

antiqueroadhoe Fri 18-Mar-16 21:16:42

The politicians just select out the questions they want to answer.

Typically they will have one about school when all the teachers are actually working so they can't grill them on what actually matters. There tend to be some brilliant questions that get to the nub of the issue that the politicians oil their way out of. Then someone will ask them about their hair cut or their earrings and they will spend the rest of the chat on that, with everyone trilling their thanks. Annoys me too

twofalls Fri 18-Mar-16 21:21:24

Yes, perhaps we actually need to hone down the questions on a web chat to 10 of the most pressing or something.

It's the Guestposts that are really upsetting me at the moment though.

Savagebeauty Fri 18-Mar-16 21:22:32

Oh fgs. North Korea.
A tad dramatic.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 18-Mar-16 21:25:58

Totally agree toofalls, im cross with mn for facilitating such crap.

nancy75 Fri 18-Mar-16 21:28:11

Just like North Korea, I often fear being sent to a slave camphmm

Loads of us come on here and talk about our jobs, are politicians really so different in that respect?

twofalls Fri 18-Mar-16 21:41:32

When they come on in an official capacity as a politician yes they are different to the rest of us.

And if they are going to come on to promote policy then they should give us the courtesy of sticking round to discuss it. Not just deliver a party political broadcast and fuck off.

NotDavidTennant Fri 18-Mar-16 21:51:00

The guest posts are not even written by the minister in question, I'm sure. They will be dashed off by a spad or researcher and emailed in to MNHQ to be put up on the site.

twofalls Fri 18-Mar-16 21:57:28

So why are MN giving them the airtime? I honestly don't understand it.

MN please could you come and explain. Have reported my post to alert them.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 18-Mar-16 21:59:32

I agree.

Politicians should not be allowed to use MN to push their agenda with no debate.

antiqueroadhoe Fri 18-Mar-16 22:40:42

When they come on in an official capacity as a politician yes they are different to the rest of us. I agree.

To clarify: I wasn't meaning that readers should be fearful of being sent to a slave camp (hmm) the subtext was that pumping people with propaganda isn't what a supposedly open webchat should be about.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-Mar-16 22:44:09

Hi there and thanks for reporting this.

It's tricky - we always encourage guest posters to come on to the thread and engage, but realistically politicians have many commitments and it's often not possible. And as you point out, a guest post is by nature a different animal to a webchat, in that there's no obligation to stay on the thread. We think there's value in them nonetheless - they often spark really interesting and passionate debate, and are a prompt for those MNers with an impressive knowledge of the subject in hand to share their perspectives too.

The question of airtime is also a bit tricky. We do try hard to offer a balance on crunchy issues like this one (the junior doctors' strike is another example). In fact, it was we who approached the Department for Education yesterday - we asked if they'd like to explain their thinking with regard to academisation, because we had a very strong guest post from a deputy head teacher on this issue putting the opposing view. If we stopped having guest posts from politicians, quite possibly we'd have missed out on the deputy head's post too.

But thanks for your feedback; it's an interesting area and we'll certainly give it some thought.

antiqueroadhoe Fri 18-Mar-16 23:19:15

I think the irritation is that teachers know what the huge issues are, but politicians (of course) select out the nice easy questions, pad them out and scoot off into the horizon. Many parents would not necessarily know some of the issues, so politicians think they can bamboozle with a few statistics and how everyone must work together. Unfortunately, many parents on MN can see through this, even with very limited experience in education.

antiqueroadhoe Fri 18-Mar-16 23:20:30

What I would like is to give Jeremy Paxman a few questions to bleed full answers from her (and others) on.

twofalls Fri 18-Mar-16 23:22:39

Why would you have missed out on the deputy heads post? If you wanted to put the other side, invite a head of an academy, I think it's wrong for MN to be used as a forum for a party political broadcast.

twofalls Sat 19-Mar-16 07:45:11

Unless of course MN know exactly what the are doing and invite them in knowing they will get torn to shreds and make themselves look like the cowards they are.

RufusTheReindeer Sat 19-Mar-16 14:37:29

I agree with most others that any one with a guest post should be open to answering any further questions at least within a certain period of time

And i appreciate what you are saying but "politicians have many commitments", so do loads of people who do guest posts. At least they have the basic manners and respect to continue with engaging with posters

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