Happy Birthday to me! Happy birthday – well more accurately – to my blog! Three years old today. I do sometimes wonder who reads it. I know several thousand different people do a month – but I don’t know if it serves the primary purpose that I started it for. I wanted to give an account of myself and my actions as an elected public servant – particularly to my local residents so that they could see what I did with my time and the role which they had elected me.
Obviously, over time, blogs have become source of fodder for media and opponents, the wider party et al. And now are the flavour of the month. I’ve started doing small films too – to see if that makes ‘politics’ more digestible and I note this morning that Dave ‘I’m a nice guy’ Cameron is doing ‘home’ movies on his new blog. His children are young now and he may think they look cute and seeing him at home makes him more digestible – but he risks abdicating his right to his childrens’ privacy if he uses them for political advantage. Dangerous territory.
Anyway – back to my Blog Birthday: I’ve had a look through some of my old entries (the very first should be in the running for an award for least interesting first blog posting I think!).
Most interestingly – lo and behold, the entry for 6th October 2003 is about travel planning – and now three years on, travel planning appears to be on our doorsteps in Hornsey & Wood Green. I had an irate email from a local resident who campaigns on various issues to ask if I thought that there was a plot to target rich car owners as everyone in western Haringey was being asked to consider their travel planning.
I got a letter myself – and actually I welcome this move, because travel planning is all about making it eaiser for people to use public transport by helping them figure out how the journeys they normally take by car would work out using public transport. It’s often much easier and quicker to use public transport than people think – so you need to work with people one by one to show them how their own journeys would work on public transport. Where this has been done – e.g. in Perth, Australia – it’s been very successful. Let people be free to make their own choices – but make sure they have the full information to make those choices. Very liberal!
If you read that old blog entry, you can see what my thinking was back three years ago when I was championing travel planning and nagging Transport for London to get pilots up and running.
I am writing to Peter Hendy to ascertain that this is what the letters and surveys in my constituency are about – but I’m pretty sure that’s what is going on and if so – hurrah. It’s a qualified ‘hurrah’ though – until I find out how they are doing it, what resource they are putting into it and what shift they are expecting. But basically – this is really good news – and it’s only taken three years to permeate – not bad!