Political engagement with June Sarpong

June SarpongI never ‘got’ June Sarpong MBE as a TV presenter – she always seemed (at least) half-asleep to me. Her elevation to the status of Question Time panellist wasn’t met with universal acclaim. But to her immense credit, she does seem genuinely passionate about bringing young people, specifically young women, into politics – as the piece she wrote for Channel 4’s 25th birthday demonstrates.
Now she’s launching a website called Politics & The City. A quick glance at the homepage reveals a site that’s a lot more Sarah Jessica Parker than Sarah Teather. I’m not personally over-keen on the design: too much Flash, not enough clear visual direction. And although it’s not immediately obvious amid the supermodel namedropping, I’m assured there’s political content in there, somewhere.
An interview in today’s Independent tells the whole story. Content is being written by ‘two political journalists and two glossy magazine journalists’. There will be regular contributions from June’s celeb chums. You get the picture.
Apparently the site’s had ‘rave reviews from test audiences’. Maybe I’m too old, or too deep into politics already, or too masculine… but I don’t get it. Then again, as I said, I never ‘got’ June. However, since it’s been built using WordPress (by the Liverpool-based Interconnect IT), I’m obliged to love it. 🙂
Frankly, we’re at the point where any attempt to engage people in politics is to be welcomed. A poll quoted in this morning’s Times (and referenced on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog) showed – unsurprisingly – that people generally ‘like’ David Cameron at the moment, and ‘dislike’ Gordon Brown. But when they were asked if either man ‘means what he says’ or ‘says what you want to hear’, both party leaders scored equally badly – almost identically so. Depressing stuff.

3 thoughts on “Political engagement with June Sarpong”

  1. I’m all for engaging more folk in politics but PATCY is simply a news aggregation site, isn’t it? Not quite sure how it’s different to anything else out there. Perhaps the celebrity blogs will add something…

  2. Wahey – thanks for the mention guys. For a while I thought we’d continue uncredited 🙂
    But we can’t take too much credit for the design work – that was by Black & Ginger. We just turned the mockups and concepts into a living, breathing website. There’s some improvements to come, is all I can say…

  3. The name was putting me off , but its been in all the free papers and now linked by Puffbox so I couldn’t resist checking it out . I am going to give it a few weeks for content to develop but so far I am not getting it either, I probably get this much politics & celeb gossip from the BBC Headlines newsfeed
    Launch guests included MPs Theresa May, Sarah Teather, Caroline Flint, Hazel Blears and Siobhan McDonagh . Guests were treated to champagne, miniature cup cakes and some outrageously fabulous goodie bags! ”
    Pity Hazel Blears wasn’t twittering her goodie bag contents

Comments are closed.