The Sunday Times has a piece on the hiring of Zach Exley by Labour; Mulley gives a good breakdown of the news along with some reaction by the bigger players in the political wing of the Irish blogosphere.
With websites like Irishelection.com gaining momentum it was always the case that blogging would have some effect on the 2007 General election, however until now it was looking like it would be external rather than internal. This move opens the doors for a more progressive outlook on the internet and blogging within Irish politics and Labour are sure to see this move as one part of their upcoming election campaign, even if it is only a small factor in it.
I think it would be too much to put the importance of blogs here on a par with those in the USA back in 2004 but with the Conservative party in England likely to invite bloggers to their party conference next year it wouldn’t be too much to assume Labour will do the same.
The questions now arise; will other parties respond or wait and see, do Labour honestly see potential for political progress or is it just lip service to secure votes and even with the attention of the political elites can bloggers rise to the occasion and make a difference?