I have added two features to Blog Watch – Government Watch and Opposition Watch. They are located in the right margin under 'site pages'. Despite the ridicule to which the suffix ‘Watch’ has been subjected by the media (it’s almost as gross as adding ‘Gate’ to every scandal), I’ve chosen that term as the most descriptive.
For Blog Watch, The Political Sword is literally ‘watching’ the commonly visited political blogs and updating Blog Watch regularly with the latest additions to those sites, each item of which (with the exception of Mumble), is linked to the original piece. I hope visitors find this a time-saving device.
During 2008, the Government was lampooned by the media and the Opposition as being ‘all spin, no substance’, ‘all talk, no action’, and so on it went, thankfully diminishing somewhat as the year progressed as Government actions rolled out. Anyone looking regularly at the ALP website would have wondered what all this was about, as it poured out hundreds of statements about its actions from the beginning of the year. So this year The Political Sword, by watching the ALP website, is providing a running update of items appearing on it. The item titles, linked to the full item, the date of publication, and the person making the statement are listed, together with the nature of the statement. Almost all are media statements. To see any item of interest, click the link. As much of what is reported in the media emanates from these statements, Government Watch gives visitors the opportunity to read the original before the media have had a go at it. I use the website's RSS feed service to see the latest items posted.
I’ve done the same for the Opposition in Opposition Watch. The Items there are derived from the Liberal Party of Australia website. They are in similar form: a linked item title, the date of publication, the author, and a brief description of the substance of the item. The statements, rather than being mainly media statements, are often doorstops or media interviews. Again, the idea is to provide information ‘from the horse’s mouth’, and the website's RSS feed provides the latest.
As both Government Watch and Opposition Watch items have turned out to be numerous, I will start a new batch at the beginning of each month. So far this month Government Watch has added over 80 items; Opposition Watch over 50.
I hope both of these features will prove a useful source of unadulterated information from Government and Opposition sources. They will be updated each time the websites are updated, with the date and time of the update indicated.
Normal transmission of The Political Sword will recommence on 2 February.