There are a number of Ministers appearing before Select Committees at the moment, to talk about the various appropriation votes they are responsible for. This can be rather boring and uninteresting in many respects. But there are the odd moments of interesting revelations. It is an important process that allows MPs to drill down into the details of what is being spent in various sectors.
As part of her role, Julie Anne Genter sits on the Transport and the Commerce Select Committees. She has been doing something as part of that today that I think is a good thing. She has been tweeting about who is appearing before the committee and asking her followers if they have any questions they want to ask said Minister.
She has been tweeting the replies, but I will let you go check those out. She has also been live tweeting the proceedings.
Both of these ideas are great. The live tweeting gives people a direct, instant insight into what is happening in select committee, while asking questions on behalf of people is a great way to encourage people to engage with Ministers and helps MPs get an idea of what it is that voters are interested in. Now of course Twitter is not an accurate representation of the wider population, but it is a tool that can help MPs gain insights.
Obviously an MP is going to tweet extracts from a Ministers evidence that fits with their view of the issue, that is to be expected, they aren’t reporters. It would be good to see other MPs, from other parties, live tweeting, to give followers a better understanding of what is being said. Maybe the members of each select committees could get together and settle on a hashtag that they all tweet to?
I had been wondering how Julie Anne was doing it, I had visions of her sitting there live tweeting from her phone. Which would have been a nightmare. Sadly, the situation is worse…..she is having to use Internet Explorer……