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Prime Minister’s Questions on YouTube

These are tough times for the PM Gordon Brown. Labour have just had their worst Poll rating since the Thatcher era, the party leadership have been accused of alienating millions of voters, and to top it off Brown has been dismissed by the conservative leader David Cameron as "an analogue prime minster in a digital age". Ouch!

The PM's response? As that old warrior Triscia Walsh Smith has so aptly illustrated, there is only one policy to be adopted in the Web 2.0 era when you feel like no one likes you anymore: post a video on YouTube. Accordingly, yesterday the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath launched an online version of Prime Minister’s Questions on YouTube. Joe and Jane Bloggs have until June 21 to post any questions they want to Gordon.

The move has been dismissed by many commentators as an anachronistic knee-jerk reaction to Cameron's damning assessment of Brown's internet savvy. Why use YouTube in an era of instant chat, blogs and Twitter? And while the PM's camp recently showcased Downing Street's Twitter feed during Brown's recent trip to the US, it is clear that it is not a hotline to old Gordon himself.

But the cynics have so far been proved wrong as YouTube users have taken up the challenge posting a large number of responses. Some of the feature background music and effects, with topics ranging from the repealment of the Act of Settlement, university application fees to accusations of jumping on the YouTube bandwagon.

If the Prime Minister's Questions on YouTube was designed as a publicity stunt the plan has worked a treat and it will be interesting to see if Brown will reply to all the questions or just select the ones that he wants to answer. Either way, it looks as if the analogue Prime Minister is trying to get himself digitised.

Gordon Brown invites you to 'Ask The PM'

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