At the end of last week, a piece I wrote on Labour’s internet politics was published on LabourList. My intention in the piece, although not explicitly stated in these terms, was to debate the politics OF the internet, and Labour’s response. For me the politics of the internet concerns matters like ACTA, net blocking, online surveillance and investment in broadband. This is in contrast to politics ON the internet – i.e. using the internet to debate the whole range of political topics of the day. A comment left in response to the piece demonstrated that this distinction was not understood:

I think for the time being it is Mark Ferguson, of this house.

Mark is an excellent proponent of politics ON the internet – he has built up LabourList as one of the prime places online to debate everything from health policy to social security. Mark is not especially concerned with the politics of the internet, and nor should he be necessarily. It is however important to make the distinction clear between the politics of the internet and politics on the internet, and it’s very much the former where Labour is lacking.

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