Parliament's website was given a bit of a kicking today by the Hansard Society. The society, which exists to promote effective parliamentary democracy, declared that a parliamentary internet should be for the public, not the people who work there. The BBC quote the report:
It remains, in essence, an online archival resource, impenetrable to most people, difficult to navigate, with almost no opportunity for interaction and a wholly inadequate search engine
But it seems to us that saying Parliament is seriously out of date is a little like saying that the sun is hot or that Sun readers have difficulty reading without moving their lips. Surely Parliament should be patted on the back for giving us a website whose overall impression is dry and unengaging as it reflects the real thing perfectly.
But if people insist on making politics relevant then here are a few ideas to help bring the website more into line with the rest of the Internet:
1. Allow users to post comments under the subjects being discussed. For example, a comment under the recent discussion between John Robertson (Glasgow, North-West) and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Ivan Lewis could have read:
Dude! Lewis bitchslapped that guy for sure like he was that bad ass Sith Ninja called Darth Maul - it made me wanna tattoo my face red and black and grow horns
2. A couple of banner ads for Suicide Girls wouldn't go amiss.
3. The chance to download Big Ben ring tones as advertised by Paris Hilton performing fellatio on the clock tower.
4. A Flickr pool showing the MPs at their most candid - paying off arms dealers, swapping David Blunkett's jacket for a hooded top with the word TERRORIST emblazoned on the back. That kind of thing.
5. The site needs more pictures of kittens and each kitten should have its own blog. You can never have too many kittens or blogs on the internets.