Where Is My Public Servant?

The BBC reports on a new website that aims to engage young people with politics, or at least with politicians (although I think it’s been online for a while) – Where Is My Public Servant? or WIMPS – An..erm.. unfortunate acronym.. but there you go.

Some teething troubles are apparent – the email system for contacting representatives seems clumsy and there are no links to individual politician’s websites – even where they do exist.

More worrying is the events list

Upcoming events listed include –

Judas Priest & Special Guests The Scorpions?!

and

Rod Stewart?!?

Erm.. which young people is the site aimed at again?

  • ShayPaul

    Nice post peteb, politicians fighting back against slugger ?

  • peteb

    politicians fighting back against slugger?

    Ermm. I not sure I follow that comment, Shay.. according to the site “10 young people from across Northern Ireland were recruited in July 2004 to develop an interactive website run by and for young people”.

  • Tully

    As the project co-ordinator for the WIMPS site, I am pleased to see at least some feedback already regarding the site.
    It REALLY is designed and run by 10 young people from across NI (age 15-20) and the content is up to them (with some guidelines, of course)
    Don’t worry about the snags on the database search…they are currently being dealt with.
    Keep the comments, and articles for inclusion on the site, coming in.

  • peteb

    Thanks for commenting Tully.

    When is the official launch date? The BBC report seems to imply that the site is ready to go now.

  • Tully

    WIMPS site is now live, with one of the most comprehensive (if slightly raw) databases on local NI public representatives.
    The site was launched today at Stormont, as the WIMPS team sent their “message of love” to the NI Assembly (?!) to an audience which included MLAs, councillors and representatives from community and commercial organisations.
    Guest speakers from Alliance, DUP, UUP, SDLP and Sinn Féin all endorsed the project, and wished the team all success for the future…however we did not receive an assurance that emails to our public reps would all be replied to promptly…ah well, we tried!
    Go on folks, let ’em know you love ’em and want them back! Use WIMPS and contact your public rep…I dare you!

  • tebzz3

    mmmmmh sounds like a similar excercise to the iraqi elections ie another opportunity to excercise your right to voice an opinion that will be ignored, slugger and co can be excused as a talking shop will the govt/local politicans commit to acting on majority opinions on the site, than it would be interesting, else its another web forum….yippee

  • tebzz3

    “we feel young people should be able to influence decisions that affect them”

    new labour realspeak at its best

  • feismother

    I take it that the interview with Mark Durkan was done over the telephone which would explain why Kadar Asmal has become “Katter Asma”.

  • chris@wimps

    feismother, i would just like to inform you that the interview with Mark Drukan was actually carried out face to face with myself and Mark, in his offices at stormont.

    As for the mis-spelling of Kater Asmal, It is now ammended, the reason for this origional mistake is partly due to my not knowing the correct spelling.

    Also, thanks for reminding me to put in the picture of myself actually interviewing Mark on this occasion, which should be online in a matter of minutes. Cheers

  • chris@wimps

    EVERYONE! as you can see from some of the previous comments above, the WIMPS site does have a small number of in-accuracies at present. I (as site administrator) would like to ask you to please send details of these to us through the contact-us section of the site. Your continous help in this will allow the site to remain running smoothly as we gradually ‘iron out any creases’.

    Also, thanks for showing your support so far, all comments have been taken on board as constructive critisms.

  • feismother

    Hello, Chris.

    Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be negative! I wish your site all the best. With three teenage daughters interested and active in politics I’m delighted to see your site up and running.

    I only picked up on Mr Asmal because (as you may or may not know!) he was in an earlier life a law lecturer at Trinity while I was a student there.

    Best wishes!!

  • Paul Smyth

    I am the Director of Public Achievement – the organisation that initiated and supports the WIMPS website project. I came up with the rather unimaginative title of ‘Democrasearch’, which the group of young people we established for the project changed to WIMPS – Where Is My Public Servant. I thought this was brilliant, as it plays on the attitude of many in public life that young people are either a problem or are too frivilous to be taken seriously. The name is catchy and I think full of humour. Public Achievement seeks to confound traditional expectations of young people (both those of others and those they hold themselves), and demonstrate the benefits of adults and young people working co-creatively together to build democratic space in their communities and lives. I hope feismother’s daughters will use the site and recommend it to their friends. Even better, they might want to get involved in the WIMPS team. To use the word the chronologically challenged shouldn’t – WIMPS are cool!!