Private Eye – always a useful source of behind the scenes chatter about the BBC – has an interesting little titbit in the current issue about Democracy Live, the BBC’s answer to TheyWorkForYou.com.
For the last few years TWFY has become the place to visit for information about MPs and members of the House of Lords. This has not always been popular with our parliamentary representatives because it also reveals their attendance and voting record. Nevertheless the not for profit website, created and overseen by registered charity UK Citizens Online Democracy, has proved a useful tool for opening up the political process to public scrutiny.
Ever willing to muscle in where others have already beaten a pioneering path the BBC, fat with our money, launched DL a few months ago. At it’s core it provides live video feed from parliament and national assemblies plus a search function linking video with Hansard.
At its launch DL received the blessing of Speaker Bercow and sundry MPs and appears to be the flavour of the month with the political class, an accolade that has always eluded the grasp of TWFY – and Private eye thinks it know why….
DL, despite being developed by Autonomy and Blinkx (both closely associated with the iconic IT guru Mike Lynch) somehow appears unable to deliver data on MPs attendance and voting records – how convenient….
The Eye also notes that details about the commissioning of DL remain a “closely guarded secret” and the fact that Mike Lynch also happens to be a member of the BBC Board is, of course, a “mere coincidence”
Any suggestion that the fearless BBC, by not including information about voting and attendance, is cosying up to MPs, can clearly be dismissed as totally without foundation…..