The Case of the Disappearing MPs.

7 July 2011

I don’t believe that a Member of Parliament’s work can be measured by the number of column inches s/he receives in the press but I’ve found something recently I find quite interesting.

When Maxine McKew was MP for Bennelong, she was mentioned in the local press most weeks – often more than once, with photos, meeting with local businesses, visiting schools, attending conferences.  And every week, the Letters’ Page would have at least one letter from someone asking “Where is Maxine since she was elected?”  I thought these were from people who like writing letters but don’t actually bother to read the newspaper.

Since John Alexander has been our MP, he hardly merits a mention in my local press, except for this week when they covered his 60th birthday celebrations for some odd reason (and belated Happy Birthday, John). But where are the letters asking about the whereabouts of John and what is he actually doing?

I think all this shows is that the Liberal Party is better at orchestrating letter-writing campaigns than the Labour Party.

One comment

  1. Before Maxine McKew was elected, we used to read the two local papers in the Ryde area, and they were full of Liberal party advertising and a corresponding amount of editorial. John Howard’s press office kept the material flowing.

    After the election, there was a period of some months dominated, it seem to us, by people who were not coping well with Howard’s defeat, and constant bleating about “Where is Maxine??” It took a while for her press office to catch up. I think that they supplied material to the electronic media, especially the web, thinking that the local print media was maybe less relevant. However, it still had some local influence even it if reflects an older conservative Anglo demographic, a little less web savvy.

    I continue to watch with interest.

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