You’re not supposed to discuss it at the dinner table, but politics is a perfectly acceptable topic for online deliberation; the web is also an unparalleled resource for political news and analysis. But which site is best? We asked PCAdvisor.co.uk site visitors to recommend their favourite websites.
Recommended by: Paul Godd
Accountability is the watchword here. This service enables you to find out who your constituency MP is (simply type in your postcode), then fires out reams of information on their parliamentary voting, committee and attendance records and how these figures compare with the average. You can read (and sometimes watch) their debate contributions, check up on expenses and even find out the reading age required to decipher their speeches.
Recommended by: James M Reith
Nosemonkey is a Europe-focused blogger with a strongly (but not blindly) pro-EU standpoint and a good sense of humour: when the Lisbon Treaty was ratified, he satirically ‘liveblogged’ the event, noting at one point that “Morris dancers are being rounded up and shot, and all bananas are being forcibly straightened”.
“Best EU blogger around,” declares self-confessed Eurosceptic James M Reith.
Recommended by: mr simon
“I usually head to the Politics & Current Affairs forum on RichardDawkins.net, which is full of lively discussion,” writes mr simon. “Obviously discussions are largely from an atheistic viewpoint, as that’s the main element that brings people to the site. But it’s the best place I’ve found for political discussion.”
Fans of religon-related indignant ranting will be in their element here, even though topics can occasionally drift into crime, legal disputes or international affairs.
Recommended by: Forum Editor
A number of readers mentioned the BBC, but few seemed overwhelmed – mr simon damned it with faint praise by calling the political coverage “brief and mostly unbiased”. The corporation’s new Democracy Live microsite, however, looks more promising, and our Forum Editor pledged his vote.
You can watch live video of the UK’s various assemblies (and the European Parliament) and even search for content of speeches, thanks to neat speech-to-text functionality.
Recommended by: TS Neame
“Jon Snow is easy to dismiss as an eccentric talking-head newsreader, but he’s from the old school of informed journalist-presenters,” says TS Neame. “Unlike the multitude of basement bloggers, Snow is out there interviewing world leaders and seeing political forces play out in real life, and I love reading his savvy take on current affairs.”
Recommended by: QuizMan
Politics.co.uk, as QuizMan points out, is overseen by a three-man editorial board. Each represents one of the main political parties, thus ensuring that articles adhere to a code of political neutrality.
The site is therefore able to deliver an admirable blend of news and political sketches without having to continually take sides or push an agenda. Writers will generally attempt to consider both sides in a dispute, but it rarely feels like they’re tiptoeing around the subject; the rule of objectivity forces contributors to work harder to draw conclusions, rather than encouraging them to play it safe.
Recommended by: David Gold
David Gold pointed us to The Vibe, a ‘youth political website’ to which he himself contributes. While the tone can feel a little patronising (as often seems to be the way with youth-oriented endeavours) and some of the debates are redolent of the sixth-form common room, it’s a decent enough resource for political analysis delivered in a tone that’s simultaneously informal and very, very earnest.
Recommended by: David A
David A recommended The Guardian’s political blogs for their “spot-on tone and content, witty, informed writing and army of impassioned commenters”.
The prevailing political position is a slightly left of centre one, but you won’t find too much sloganeering – and there are plenty of dissenting voices among commenting readers.
Recommended by: MAT
“I usually head to ePolitix for the latest news about parliament and legislative affairs,” writes MAT. “It’s not the liveliest of sites, but that’s fine with me – I don’t want writers to preach to me, and this site keeps to the facts. The page design’s nice and clean, too.”
Recommended by: Treebeard
The Bagehot column, written by a range of authors under a single anonymous byline (named in honour of a 19th-century Economist editor), reflects dispassionately upon the progress of British politics.
While The Economist itself is often thought of as somewhat conservative, Bagehot criticises the Tory party as much as Gordon Brown’s incumbents – and does so with carefully phrased authority.