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Monday, 23 May 2011

"States Are Twittering Away - Yes - TLS & ILM In Particular"

It is the social network site that is dominating headlines over 'super-injunctions' and privacy laws - and now the States are tapping into the power of Twitter.

The States are considering a 12-month trial of the use of smart phones, iPads and other tablet devices in the chamber.

And one politician who wants the move is Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf who is a big advocate of Twitter because he believes it helps him stay in touch with islanders and to modernise the way in which the States works.

For those of you still a little unsure about what Twitter is, it is a hugely popular website that enables those who use it to send and read messages called 'tweets'. They are short messages limited to 140 characters - like immediate mini-emails. Users can send out and receive short bursts of information and are used globally by anyone from politicians to news organisations to celebrities to the 'Average Joe'.

The website is currently at the centre of stories in the UK media regarding 'super-injunctions' taken out to forbid the naming of individuals involved in certain stories.

Senator Ozouf believes the site offers a precious opportunity to update islanders instantly about what is going on in the States. For example, he 'tweeted' 13 times during last week's debate. One of his tweets said: "Statement by Chief Minister condemning anti-semitic comments to Senator Cohen. CM rightly condemning."

Another said: "Live on Channel Television in Royal Square at 6pm on GST Food Exemptions". And another: "GST exemptions debate: 32,000+ written & 320,000+ spoken words in the 7 debates = 2,900 member hours... And debate is still going..."

The problem is that, technically, he nor any other politician should be using their phones in the chamber.

Deputy Monfort Tadier is one politician who has welcoming a proposed 12 month review of hand-held devices in the States. After being disallowed from using his laptop twice inside the chamber, he says it is a debate that is long overdue.

He explained: "The reason that I would use a laptop is that it would make my job easier, I can make notes while people are speaking if it's my proposition, it's a lot easier to type up the notes and actually speak in a coherent way which I think would benefit everyone involved."

Politicians in the Welsh Assembly already use laptops. The proposed review for Jersey's States does not include them, but Deputy Tadier says he intends to amend the proposition.

If approved, this change could bring Jersey's states into the 21st Century and perhaps even attract a whole new generation to politics.

"this change could bring Jersey's states into the 21st Century and perhaps even attract a whole new generation to politics."   REALLY?

A team of wild horses couldn't drag most of Jersey's politicians anywhere, let alone, into the 21st Century!

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