The PM is doing a sort of PMQT (Prime Minister’s Question Time) on YouTube, there is still time to submit your question – off you pop.
I am intrigued as to what will be achieved by this, apart from an apparent attempt at transparency. It might work, however, this is not real time, it is a recording of a question followed by a recording of an answer – both of which will be editable, deletable, re-doable &c &c until each party (questioner and respondee) are happy. This is very luxurious and feels a bit BBC in the 1950s: terribly proper and heavily edited.
I am presuming that he will receive the questions (or an official will) and a response will be drafted then read out on YouTube with Scottish aplomb – kind of like an interview with a question being asked and an answer provided two days later – except that we can delete the awkward silence.
I LOVE the fact that the text alongside the video invites you to ‘ask the Prime minister about whatever is on your mind’ – of course I immediately feel childish and chuckle a bit at the responses this might illicit. This is completely over-ruled by the PM who suggests we ask him anything, such as: ‘How globalisation is working? What is happening about Climate Change?’ I have a feeling that the questions will be more targeted and personal (not to the PM, but personal to ourselves), well I hope they will be.
I do like the fact that the questions will be ranked according to audience opinion, the ones with the most votes moving to the top of the heap and guaranteed an answer. However, I suspect that any ones that are too awkward will not be put into the pile for voting (or am I too cynical?). You can submit questions until June 21st, but can rank questions from May 26th. This seems slightly unfair on the ones posted later, as they will inevitably receive less votes – especially as the promised response from the PM is ‘the end of June’ – so no point really submitting anything on the 21st (unless you vote for yourself a lot!)
It is off-putting that there is no date given for the response, I accept that this will be because of diary commitments, but it should be easy enough to sift and sort the questions and fit Gordon’s recording of the response within a defined period of time. Again, it makes me query the validity of this and the confidence Downing Street has in being able to ensure this is not an enormous flop (at best) and supremely damaging (at worst) to the PM.
Hmm… I am reserving judgment on this – no doubt great use of media, but there is a risk that it will be far too ‘spun’ and ‘down with the people’.
We will see.
Here is the link: http://uk.youtube.com/downingst
PS Sorry, committing a blogging sin here by adding something after I have posted – however, what would make this fabulous, would be if we could have something on YouTube that shows a behind the scenes of GB watching the responses, and chatting with his advisors, then preparing the response – that would be really, really cool (and would achieve much to negate the concerns I think people will have). Just a suggestion🙂