[okforums-discuss] Project suggestion: quoting the powerful

peter.lockley at okfn.org peter.lockley at okfn.org
Fri Feb 25 18:12:37 UTC 2005

> Suggestion: Quoting the Powerful
> ...to collect (online) quotes from elected representatives (and others
> with power) which have been made outside formal arenas (Commons chamber
> etc)

I don't think you need to oppose formal and informal in that way even -
there are plenty of internal contradictions in what is said in Parliament

> Why: I've realised that you can tell just as much (and often more) about
> your MPs and councillors from what they say in speeches, interviews and
> press conferences, than you can from what they say in council meetings/
> Parliament. (And it can be very fruitful to compare the two.) It would be
> a great supplementary resource for citizens.

yes, speeches to different lobby groups can be instructive / depressing

> Problems: This is (I think) almost impossible. But perhaps a good project
> to aim towards? There are obviously no clean ways in which such quotes are
> recorded. People with access can glean these quotes from broadcast
> transcripts, press cuttings, press briefing transcripts, speeches etc.
> It's a labour-intensive human-brain process.

absolutely, so

a site where
> people could just dump quotes they have found/transcribed

is the only way I can see it working. It would rely on the delight people
take in catching politicians out contradicting themselves. perhaps it
could also operate requests for quotation matching  - eg here i've got
tony blair admitting that there were no WMD in Iraq, can anyone remember
him saying that there were? and so on.


> Any ideas? Do people think this would be useful? Does anyone have any
> ideas or know of any way in which any one of these quote sources could be
> mined in an automated way? Do you think it would work having  Perhaps it's
> completely unrealistic?!
> Thanks for your thoughts
> Natasha (Phillips)
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