Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities
and Local Government, has told a Hansard Society conference
on disengagement that political bloggers' main area
of interest is "unearthing scandals, conspiracies and
She said, "The most popular blogs are right-wing,
ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale,
to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes."
Top UK political blogger, Guido, denies
this charge and rightly states that we should "Do
unto others as you would have others do unto you." (My
criticism of Guido's site is the depressingly poor language
in many of the comments which is likely to give a bad
can be heard taking to Hazel Blears on PM with Eddie
Mair on Radio 4. You can listen to it here
- it is 49 minutes in and lasts a few minutes.
Quite bizarrely, she says, "you can only have
that kind of grown-up political discourse where people
are prepared to listen."
Woman, the reason I started this website is because
YOU WOULDN'T LISTEN! Not only wouldn't you listen to
the calls for a referendum on the EU Treaty, but you
lied when you promised you would give us one.
One way or another, people will have their say and
just because a government doesn't like what is being
discussed, won't stop people.
They can make it more difficult and they intend to.
Not only have they made it more difficult to protest,
but now they are after censoring the internet because
they hate free speech so much.
One step being looked at by Peter Mandelson and his
department is grabbing
Nominet, the registrar for dot uk domain names.
The Government/EU (same thing) could then decide who
is too much of a danger to be allowed a domain name
- like the people Hazel Blears doesn't like.
Things aren't as bad as they are in China, yet, but
the dangers are mounting in the UK, North America and
many other places [map].
Earlier this year, a masters student at the University
of Nottingham and his teacher were arrested
and held for six days under the Terrorism Act under
suspicion of possessing extremist material. He had been
studying terrorism for his dissertation.
The "crime," by the way, was downloading
an edited version of the al-Qaeda handbook from a US
announced is a Government plan to monitor internet
traffic, where raw data from every email sent and website
visited would be collected and stored in 'black boxes'
before being transferred to a giant central database.
Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, has described
it as a "step too far".
Back at the 'conference on disengagement' and Blears
sounded like she was trying to convince the nation's
non-bloggers with condescending remarks like:
"But mostly, political blogs are written by people
with disdain for the political system and politicians,"
"Unless and until political blogging 'adds value' to
our political culture, by allowing new and disparate
voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge,
and until the mainstream media reports politics in a
calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to
fuel a culture of cynicism and pessimism."
My site might well be full of cynicism and pessimism,
but only because of Hazel and the rest of the nuts.
BUT, I am also optimistic that the people will bring
down this government at the next election and those
millions of bloggers will hopefully vote for a candidate
who will recognise our right to express ourselves freely
on the internet - and they are not likely to be Labour
candidates (hence the panic).
And another thing, there are always going to be, let's
call them mavericks, in the blogosphere. Hardly surprising,
as there are millions of us, but a great many people
spend their time and money to put across their point
of view because they care. They care far, far more than
the government about this country and our fellow beings
- and it is now very clear how much Blear's party is
held in contempt for their sickening treachery.
And Hazel Blears - I am not left wing or right wing
- I am a human being.
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