Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bob Piper Quits: A Sad Day for Blogging

I'm very sad to hear that Bob Piper has ANNOUNCED he is to quit blogging. He's clearly been stung by the reaction to his posting of a 'blacked-up' David Cameron on his site. I have never met Bob, but we have corresponded from time to time and I believe him to be a thoroughly decent bloke.

The trouble is with this blogging lark that if you stick your head above the parapet you've got to be prepared for it to be cut off from time to time. On a couple of occasions in the last twelve months I have nearly quit myself. As well as making you a lot of new friends, blogging also creates enemies. Bob hasn't exactly helped himself in this latest blogging controversy but it really shouldn't lead to him quitting. Dizzy puts it well HERE.
Bob, for all his left wing ideological faults, has provided a
service to his readership but also to those of us on the other side of the fence
to snipe at. It's part of the game and it's part of the fun of it all, and the
UK political blogosphere will not be as rich a place for debate without him in
my opinion. He also recently did a lot of work changing his blog's look and
appeal, to leave now would be a waste.

I hope Bob, you'll think again.


Andrew Woodman said...

I suspect he's been told to by those above him knowing the Labour party.

He has only himself to blame though. You can't keep calling Tories racist for minor or misunderstood comments and then put that picture on your website.

Sabretache said...

My guess is that it comes down to which 'Bribe Pop' (and you??) value most: Speaking your mind about whatever concerns you and to hell with how/whether friends or enemies misinterpret you - or the effect of any such misinterpretation/misrepresentation on the issues dear to you; or your prospects for climbing further up that greasy, dishonest, sleazy establishment pole of conventional power politics.

My guess is you will be faced with a similar dilema in the forseeable future. IMHO transparent public honesty in ones opinions and any serious ambition in the field of establishment politics are quite simply not possible - which, in large measure, explains the esteem in which politicians are generally held.

Tim said...

The trouble is with this blogging lark that if you have the courage to reveal your name you risk getting shouted down by a bunch of anonymous cowards.

Fixed that for you.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Having visited Bon Piper's blog (just the once), he struck me as the sort of person who saw things in black and white and had an I'm Right And You're Wrong and I Hate The Tories mentality. Perhaps I'm wrong but that's how I saw it.

Louise said...

I'm not particularly sorry to see Bob go. As Justin rightly says he saw himself as always right and anyone to the left of him always wrong.

Having been (rightly) attacked for posting something inexcusable he has gone off in a strop because he couldn't just admit he was wrong. If you, or I or any other right-leaning blogger had been so offensive his gloating would have been endless.

We all say some things on blogs that perhaps aren't as funny or as clever as we had hoped. The grown up thing to do is apologise and move on.

wrinkled weasel said...

Blogging is a bit like getting your first pocket money. You spend it. Doesn't matter what you spend it on, you just spend it, because you can!

Political Blogging is an emerging medium with its followers experimenting all the time with formats, etiquette and limits. These are only given an airing when they are perceived to have been broken. Blogging is emotional and immediate. It reflects another facet of the way we feel, but not necessarily what our world view is in the light of reflection and personal morality.

It is supremely ephemeral and not meant to be lasting or intrinsically profound. It can be an agent of change, leading to profound change, but in itself it is curiously impotent.

The power of political blogging is in its ability to take a very time-specific snapshot of mood among bloggers. What is said is almost secondary to the mood. Blogging is a clue-giver, a nod from an old friend, not a Bolshevik revolution.

Revolutions are run in bodies, blood and human endeavour, not in cyberspace.

Accordingly, we should give bloggers some slack. It is a playroom, a zeitgeist-o-meter, not a cudgel. Let there be a licence to be a Prat. We all do posts that we end up regretting, but then they are gone and largely forgotten.

Libels are for newpapers and national TV. Subversion is for groups who meet secretly. Politcal Blogs are for knockabout debate and the circuitious pursuit of truth and occasionally, to expose politicians to the riducule and cold light of veracity they deserve.

Please do not let the usual suspects close down this avenue of free speech.

(this is from a post on my own blog)

Chris Reid said...

Blogger quits Blogging Shocker!

Oh no... Will democracy cope!

One less self-important twat down the pan.

Anonymous said...

Louise said... "he saw himself as always right and anyone to the left of him always wrong."

Priceless. I'll put that on my tombstone.

Dr.Doom said...

It's interesting that you die hard Conservatives are sometimes right and sometimes wrong.
How thoroughly decent of you.

Which times were you wrong and where did you say so and apologise?

Bob Piper had a pop at Dave 'the Chemeleon'Cameron (any black in there?)and his two faced tory nonsense flip flop politics that he is so good at.

Oh to be a Tory, and a decent one at that. You lot would give your right arm for that label but you are caught out on a daily basis.

You will not raise the skin colour because it could be percieved as racist but you would, and will if allowed,remove a tax credit from anyone and all regardless of skin colour,because of misspent value.


The Torie can give no lessons of morality as IDS is clearly showing as he goes about his personality tour before he meets Yates.

The New Conservative Party does not pass the morality test in a modern Britain operating within the values of a modern European Union.

Your version of racism and Bob Piper is a morality test that you fail hands down, while at the same time Bob Piper passes without a second look.


griswold said...

"Thoroughly decent bloke...." Is this the same Bob Piper that libelled Annie Shepperd using another blog. The Bob Piper that jumps to call others racists at the drop of a hat. The Bob Piper that portrays Cameron and Howard as racist using black images.No he may come across as touchy feely. What you see is not what you get. He dishes it out but cannot take. No respect for quitters.

Louise said...

Ah Bob, my comment about saying things badly in blogs comes back to haunt me.... I was too busy checking my spelling.

Shoogle the words around a bit and you'll get there....

Anonymous said...

Yea i totally understand where you are coming from it so makes sense to me like you dont even know its pretty much amazing :]

Tim said...

"He dishes out but cannot take"... says the anonymous coward.

malcolm said...

I suspect we'll see him back fairly soon.He likes the publicity does Bob.

towcestarian said...

This just seems to show up the point that lefties can't do blogs. Any sort of successful political blog on occasion has got to be politically incorrect and off-message, both of which which are completely verboten for labour supporters.

Anonymous said...

Come on Bobby, you big baby, come out of retirement.

Tim said...

Towcestarian, that is total and utter bulldust.

Ian Thorpe said...

I just had a slagging off from some Labour supporters because "you just find it impossible to be positive about Labour." (That's not true, I am positive about Labour, I'm positive they're crap) Trouble is when I responded in the waspish style of my Machiavelli blog they cried foul.
No sense of humour these Labour types.

bebopper said...

He and Unity took a fair beating on Guido's hilarious thread yesterday.
I'm sure he'll be back, but I couldn't give a monkey's.

griswold said...

Tim, Anon Coward here(Griswold).

If I add my name and address and telephone number to my post, does this make it more or less true?

Iain knows who I am, so does Guido. I do not have my own blog and I have no grand mission or wrongs to right. Lighten up.

Anonymous said...

Is this a case of he who pays the Piper calls the tune?

G Eagle Esq said...

Dear Iain

I hope that the highly-appreciated Senor Piper will reconsider and continue his blogging

We may not always agree with him ... but we are always well-entertained .. and we are always better informed

Your obedient servant etc

G Eagle

cynic said...

Actually it makes hypocrites of you all. Almost every blogger writes about how they cut through the "spin" and the "filtered" view of the mainstream media, but the moment someone elected goes a little bit off-message, they get jumped on. I think most of us have noticed Iain becoming a lot more "on message" and pro-Cameron since his inclusion on the A-list and the same will go for anyone. When it's something as basically harmless as the blacked-up Cameron wheeze, it makes me sad to see supposedly free-speech loving, no-nonsense, anti-PC bloggers suddenly put on their "shocked" faces and say how appalled they are at such a terrible racist piece etc etc.

Anonymous said...

anonimity in blogging, for most of us, is the only way to go.

Given the party political shopping of councillors to the Standards Board for "being offensive", I think councillors who do blog really are playing with a loaded gun.

Anonymous said...

anonimity in blogging, for most of us, is the only way to go.

Given the party political shopping of councillors to the Standards Board for "being offensive", I think councillors who do blog really are playing with a loaded gun.

newmania said...

I have heard some exceedingly unpleasant rumours about Bob Piper who strikes me as having lost the requisite marble to write anyhing anyway.

Labour Blogs are useless they are so dull, the only decent ones are always escaping to swim in the delightful blue water of Conservatism

Tim said...


Take your false dichotomy and f**k off home. Readers deserve to know where their information is coming from and what agenda (if any) is behind it.

That goes for newmania and every other anonymongrel sniffing around Iain of Guido's butt. You days are numbered.

Paul Linford said...

I've just read Bob's post in full and it seems to me he has absolutely no intention of quitting at all. I think he's simply taking the opportunity for an extended Christmas break, and good on him!

Tim said...

Paul: Can't you smell the musky tang of wishful thinking?

newmania said...

Tim people like you who pop in to make little virtual friends and enemies are really looking for a chat room . I gather there are many .

Anyway I can be found through the blue window but you are not invited round for tea

towcestarian said...

Just looked at your bloggerheads page and it hasn't changed my opinion on most leftie blogs. I won't be going back - dull, dull, dull. At least Unity and Bob Piper were interesting before proving my point.

Tim said...

newmania: Maybe have the courtesy to login each time you comment. Just an idea.

towcestarian: So torture is boring? Catching Tory activists posting anonymous paedo-smears is boring? You'll want to write some of your own material and stop nicking Iain's and Guido's, laddie.

Praguetory said...

Tim - are you really working for the Tories? Because I can't imagine anything more motivating for us than the vitriol you spew.

Tim said...

PragueTory: I may as well keep my mouth shut and let you get on with it then, right? Nice angle, mate. Like it.

griswold said...


All of our days are numbered. Yours no less than mine. It seems you object to the message so you want to shoot the messenger. I have opinions not agendas. Would you restrict blogging to those with ID cards?

towcestarian said...

News for you - torture IS boring; not unimportant, just VERY, VERY boring.

Labour blogs like yours and RecessMonkey's are always so tediously on-message that they are a complete turn-off to the rest of us. By all means expose DC and his PR obsessed chums, but why nothing about Labour Cash for Peerages and, for a bit of light relief, what-Prescott-did-next posts?

Anonymous said...

Tim said...

"f**k off home.

That goes for .. every other anonymongrel"

Such a tough timmy.

Tim said...

griswold: People have a right to know where information is coming from. That is all. You are one who mentioned ID cards, not me. Does every debate you join have to be reduced to a false dichotomy for you to get anywhere? FFS, you'll be on about the Nazis next.

towcestarian: I think you'll find plenty on Labour Cash for Peerages at Bloggerheads. And I'll be publishing the Labour Party's campaign return in full soon. Oh, and torture can be very entertaining... just ask Leo Blair.

Anonymous: It took you all afternoon to come up with *that*? No wonder you're too embarrassed to show your face. Anonymongrel.

griswold said...

I do not believe it false dichotomy for me to take the position that because I do not choose to publish my name and address that my comment is less true than otherwise. You are using slogans.
My opinion and comments on Piper are there for you to read. There is no hidden slur. If you disapprove my mentioning his deceiptful blogging activities then you have double standards. I am not a secret activist and have no hidden agenda. I make this explanation rather than using an expletive because I think you have principled stand on many issues.
Lets leave it here.

Tim said...

griswold said: "I am not a secret activist and have no hidden agenda"

I'm sure you'd love to leave it there, but how do we know that? Even if you do operate anonymously, where is your archive (i.e. your pedigree) that lets us know how much we should trust you when you say something like that?

Oh, and doesn't it strike you as odd that a political activist who does declare their identity should be vulnerable to those who do not?

PS - The Tories aren't the only party to play this game, only the latest. Mainly because they're the latecomers. And they're playing very old-fashioned games with new technology.

Unity said...

Oh dear, it does seem that a few people are determined to make complete and utter idiots of the themselves rather than try thinking for themselves for a change.

Those of you who've been happily slagging me off, should try reading this:


and this


After which you can STFU.

Oh, and Iain - next time you swing by Central Office, you might want to suggest that they choose their appointed parliamentary stone thrower will a little more care, rather than put up someone who posted this on their own blog...


to make the obligatory 'I'm off to the CRE' whinge on your party's behalf.

Jeez - and some of you wonder why you get it in the neck over your record on equalities, when you make basic errors like that!

Excellent work on the press thing, BTW - will spread as best I can

billy said...

Tim said...
"He dishes out but cannot take"... says the anonymous coward.
3:20 PM

You are so transparent, Tim?

Tim said...
You days are numbered.
7:39 AM

Should that be "You days is numbered"?

Tim said...

1. More transparent than you. Coward.

2. Pre-coffee typos? That's all you've got now? Pathetic.

Iain, you really have to do something about these people. If you lift your game you may attract a better class of hanger-on.

Tim said...

Let me expand on that thought...

Take towcestarian for example. He seems to have the impression, following numerous visits to your blog and Guido's, that political blogs should primarily be about entertainment.

I'm curious; if ever get elected as an MP, will you devote your time to entertaining people? If so, then you can cut out the middle man and start out at a C-list celebrity right now. You are semi-famous, after all.