There was some commotion in political blog circles over the Darbyshires’ blog and a local spat they had with one of their rivals. Apologies if I have some details wrong, but it appeared an acquaintance became disgruntled with them over various things, and started spoofing their blog. While there was much that was funny and eminately spoofable about the content of their blog, the spoof was a somewhat mean spirited and nasty act. But while I agreed with the Darbyshires’ about the motivations of their nemesis, they were quite naive in threatening legal action without first seeking advice. Parody is not libel, particularly when the spoof didn’t even name its targets.
However while all this was going on the Darbyshires’ blog was attached to the LibDemBlogs aggregator, and read by many who weren’t enamoured by what they were seeing. I was saddened by some of the reactions, both out on the blogs, and on email lists with one person haughtily complaining about the number of blogs that have personal content on them. I believe this point of view to be both unhelpful and misguided. People involved in politics need to have lives and both their colleagues and supporters need to know they have lives.
While I regularly read the blogs that talk solely about political matters, I derive more pleasure from reading those that stay off the political topic, because in reading them I feel like I’m connecting with friends, albeit some of them friends I have never met.
Because, dare I say it, it’s important to know the people campaigning to make the world a better place are real people, much like those that can be found on any street in any town. Human beings, not alien species called “politician” and “activist”. Real people have real lives. The best campaigners know this- why for example did the flyer enticing me to go and help Willie Rennie, a by-election candidate in Scotland, metion his success in the Scottish coal carrying championships, and Tim Farron’s election literature feature him raising money on a fun run? Blogging or campaigning on thigs outside the political sphere, does not however, preclude having a private life, and does not excuse any intrusion onto the same.
And dare I say it, while there’s a place for political and economic theory in politics, and no place for knee-jerk pandering to fear and ignorance, all politics at all levels needs the benefits of the multiple perspectives of people from different backgrounds and lives. Because if it doesn’t it will lose touch and no amount of reading the paper via the web or listening to focus groups can rectify it. In short both politicians and activists need real lives outside of politics and any day job in order to do their political jobs properly.
While I respect those who’ve chosen to subjugate the blogging medium to their own ends and blog solely about politics, we can’t all be walking textbooks on political theory and philosophy. And it’s just as well we’re not.
 Unfortunately I can’t with my broken leg
I’M ON THE TRAIN!
(OK so I cheated slightly)
- How to enjoy a healthy vocabulary, while avoiding stock phrases, buzz words, and using language to impress or exculude.
- People involved in politics who use the blogging medium simply to blog. (eg me, Will, Nick Barlow, The Darbyshires)
- The Reflecting Britain project and how my experiences of my own industry made me sign up.
- And more about working with a broken leg.
All this when I get round to writing it.
Just a quick few words. I returned home on Sunday, and have been back and work since Tuesday morning, slowly easing my way back in. It’s just there is no real justification for me not working if I’m only living round the corner.
But I’m pleased to be standing on my own two feet, even if that’s not literally true..
(but if you read what he says it would actually seem he has come out as bisexual). - >Colin Ross
This isn’t actually a lie. Simon is a lawyer, and knows this. It isn’t even particularly Clintonian – gay has a definite meaning, and Simon is not gay. But nevertheless I cringed when I heard that he denied being gay. What people want from their politicians is honesty, not legalistic truth.- Libertycat
In blogging you don’t have to be original. But it helps if you can quote someone else you agree with who is.
I have heard from a wholely unreliable source that Menzies Campbell is a Scotsman who doesn’t like haggis, and Chris Huhne does not fantasise about the Single Transferable Voting system when “in bed” with his wife Vicky.
The last revelation must not get out as it is somthing that could genuinely damage his reputation among members of the party, unlike tales of rent boys, bisexual tendancies and alcoholism. So please, I urge you, keep this under your hat and don’t tell any employees of News International…
Further disasterous revelations can be read here. I can’t cope.
My, just as the nomination deadline for the Liberal Democrat leadership contest looms, Adrian Graves, a former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate announces, that he has signed up to Cameron’s New Liberal Conservatives (OK I meant this link) as part of his LibDems 4 Cameron squeeze message.
You’d almost think, given he’d made his decision before Christmas, it was planned that way as a spoiler or something. With the announcement of his departure, Graves mentioned rumours of similar feelings at Westminster. You can’t disprove the existance of a rumour, the mere fact you’ve mentioned it means the rumour exists. However I’m sure we can treat these rumours with a pinch of salt.
Oh Dave, Dave Dave, how I wish I could believe the new you. I would dearly love to believe you and your brethren had had an epithany and decided to join the human race, and that the New Conservative party would run the country in a fair and compassionate way. If it were in any way true I too would be looking at joining the fight against a common enemy. But given the support you’re giving New Labour on certain issues I’m afraid the front is all too transparent.
Meanwhile back on the main news of the day I’m still not declaring on my first choice for Lib Dem Leader (it is a fair election by single transferable vote after all). Although this is mainly due to waiting to see the candidates in person, than anything else.
In other news recently there was this tiny story about a worrying possible invasion of privacy and how we’re having to rely on corporate America to stand up to it. Andy H has more to say about it. On the other hand Google have announced co-operation with the Chinese government on censosrhip.
Oh and finally, I’ve been having a lot of hits from Google users looking for Mark Oaten Gossip, however I’m sorry to have to tell them I have none.
While composing another post I was reminded of a recent advert. I’m doing this from memory because there seems to be zero reaction elsewhere on the net.
It focuses on the usual happy smiling bustling family at breakfast, and as it opens we pan across several bins in the corner of the kitchen labeled according to what should be thrown away there, followed by a shot of several jars of pulses. “Great,” I thought “An advert that shows a responsible lifestyle as happy and healthy.” As the advert wore on it became clear that my pleasure was unfounded. Because the responsible lifestyle of the family in the advert was not being held up idylic, but as laughable and extreme. That’s just what me need, when people are saying it’s not worth the effort to behave responsibly, an advert saying those that do are idiots anyway.