Yes Charles, yes Alan, I’m sure your new initiative is purely about provoking a policy discussion within the Labour Party. I’m sure it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the leadership question.
Others will be much better placed to talk about the politics of this. I’ve finally managed to find the website, and it’s located at www.the2020vision.org.uk. I can imagine a few completely unrelated websites suddenly seeing an increase in traffic: such as Andrell Education, or this US initiative on energy security. Both 2020vision.org.uk and 2020vision.co.uk have been registered, but neither presents a website – which is going to confuse a lot of people. At least if you saw the wrong site, you’d know you were in the wrong place.
The site itself is running on the Expression Engine blogging platform, so there’s lots of scope for comments on site content – when eventually there is any site content. Currently it’s very sparse indeed – everything seems to be ‘coming soon’. According to the homepage there’s no news, no speeches, no policy papers.
But Charles Clarke’s launch speech promises:
We will post speeches, articles, policy papers and blogs which address these matters. We’ll start on Friday with the subject of identity management, about which a Channel 4 Film, the Insider, is being broadcast on Friday evening. The website will link to all those which address the debates about our political future, and it will stimulate involvement and engagement from individuals throughout the country. And the2020vision will organise throughout the country events to encourage and stimulate discussion and debate about these political and policy questions. Our funding, from donations, will be published on the website and declared to all the relevant statutory bodies.
It doesn’t yet look like a great experiment in social networking or collaborative authoring, or anything like that. The platform is certainly capable of it, though. Whether that’s really where their focus lies is, of course, still to be seen.