Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Alastair Campbell Doesn't Like Blogs Shock

Anyone would think New Labour didn't like blogs. Last week Downing Street Policy Wonk Matthew Taylor launched an attack on blogs, blaming them for the disconnect between politicians and voters. Yesterday Alastair Campbell was at it, supporting calls for a code of conduct for blogs. You can see the details HERE. It may comes as news to Lord Burnley that most bloggers do have their own codes of conduct. It's just that they don't include the phrase: "We promise to praise the Prime Minister at every opportunity". Dizzy puts it a little, er, more directly HERE.


Anonymous said...

How many bloggers started a war recently?

Serf said...

Alistair Campbell can't bully a million of us.

Ross said...

Let us hope that one day bloggers will be able to match the standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility set by Alistair Campbell.

Vlad the Impala said...

Support for the free expression of opinion is the hallmark of a confident society and healthy democratic system. 'Nuff said. Alistair is concerned because he can't hand train us like the resident hamster at no. 10.

Time you went back to the Drambuie and stop trying to bully and intimidate the citizenry, Al.....

Anonymous said...

The biggest danger to blogs isn't Alistair Campbell. It is printing a load of stuff which doesn't have legs.

If the politicians can spin that 'Yes well that site did say that Tony was a lying, thieving scumbag - but it also said that Gordon ate rocking horse droppings' - you are done for.

And if you do hit the target, they may not be able to hit you financially, or close you down. But when they can't play the ball they will play the man. And which one of us can say that there is nothing in our background which wouldn't be embarrassing if MI5 exposed it ?

The point about not being able to bully a million is a good one. But they don't need to. Iain's point about the Downing Street site shows that the real weakness is that only a handful of sites are anywhere near competing with official propaganda.

Of course, the remedy to that is in the hands of each and every one of us...

Croydonian said...

I do not think the man with the one time nom de plume of 'The Riviera Gigolo' is in any position to lecture on ethics or blogging conduct.

Anonymous said...

the man is a luddite

Wrinkled Weasel said...

"An Englishman,
Born in a land whose very name appeared
To license some unruliness of mind"

I wonder if that is still true in today's climate of cultural fascism?

But bloggers have them running scared and as Shelley wrote in the Masque of Anarchy:

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'

Why these quotes? Because I think the establishment hasn't been this nervous since Peterloo.

Man in a Shed said...

Things don't happen by chance in NuLabour - they're up to something. They will be looking for a terrorism or paedophile angle to whip up public outrage to allow state control ( aka regulation ).

Perhaps they would feal better if all the blog we're run on Rupert Murdoch's MySpace ?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing in the BBC story to back up your assertion that Campbell supports a code of conduct. Rather it is the PCC director Tim Toulmin who is requesting one.
Campbell is quoted as saying that "some of the most offensive stuff" comes from blogs.
Slightly different. Maybe you heard from elsewhere that Campbell supports a code of conduct.

Anonymous said...


You do a disservice to luddites.

Dr.Doom said...

The times that the Prime Minister has been 'praised' in here, are legion Iain.

Either bloggers don't praise him or you are Tory filtering the huge amounts of praise he deserves for not 'flip flopping the country.

Which is it?

Don't answer Iain, just keep your finger hovvering over the delete button just in case one happens to sneak in. Orders and all that!

I wish I could do the music for the great escape here.


Anonymous said...

They clearly don't visit the right blogs. If they were aware of the hammering David Cameron gets on a daily basis from Tory blogs and centre-right bloggers they would soon see the light.

Anonymous said...

I've emailed every single Welsh Assembly member about their views on blogs for an article I'm writing. I'm already getting some pretty interesting replies, most falling into the 'blogs are for egotists and troublemakers' camp.

And you can see why they're edgy. This week, Labour candidate Alun Davies caused quite a stir by blogging about his unhappiness at Prince Charles moving into his patch:

Anonymous said...

Of course he can bully a million of you! He bullied 60m Britons, including the powerful national dailies, not to say a negative word about the god-king tony! You can't, however, bully 60m people without their permission, and the British were too cowardly to speak out against him.

Also, if you're hosted overseas, the British government can't close you down. And the days of people being frightened of blair are long gone. He's frightened of them now.

And I can hear that skeleton rattling softly in Campbell's closet.

Anonymous said...

Iain, Technorati has no record of an "Alistair Campbell". Are you sure he exists? Perhaps we should establish a blogging code of conduct that outlaws Alistair Campbell? Ooooh, that sounds petition-worthy!

Anonymous said...

join the Voluntary Code Free Zone by putting one of the logos here on your blog

Anonymous said...

verity - I wish I could share your optimism, but I find it difficult.

If you have a minute, check out the website ''.

This website was originally known as but had to be changed due to the threat of legal action.

It was then changed to Ryanairsucks but was still one of the 'top ten' sites listed when you 'googled' Ryanir. Eventually it had to be moved to a Canadian host and the name changed to 'ryanaircampaign'.

I agree you with you that bloggers can fight back, and that they don't have to be silenced. But in the case above, whilst the site is still in existence, it has been moved out of the spotlight, and the number of visitors has decreased drastically.

And I guess in the 'blogosphere' it is only a case of shifting you from the limelight into the background noise to silence your voice.

Trust me - I don't want to be unduly pessimistic on this, but I think we could soon be facing a 'crunch' decision point on internet freedom.

However I would value any thoughts you have on this topic - the US is way ahead of us brits on this.

Vol Abroad said...

I really would have thought that Matthew Taylor would have more freakin' sense than to say blogging is causing a disconnect. No wonder his old think tank the IPPR is one of the few without a blog or even RSS feeds.

neil craig said...

The example to follow is the PCC

"The Press Complaints Commission enforces a code of practice for the UK newspaper and magazine industry, covering accuracy, discrimination and intrusion, amongst other things."

I faced the PCC when they decided that the Guardian reporting the "news" that everybody who didn't support the former SS auxiliary Izetbegovic in Bosnia was "anti-semitic". This was, while specificly against their code still ok. I do not feel the need for ethical advice from such people. The fact that they were, at the time, being run by the guy whose 2nd job was certifying Enron's accounts OK doesn't alter my views.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 4:48 pm. I can't help you, I'm afraid. I'm not American and I don't live in the US.

Tony Blair responds well to bullying, though, being a devout coward and a major bully himself. He's an ignorant, malign jerk. A million bloggers should be able to frighten him away from making yet another law on the hoof.

(I see the crime of murder is being downgraded if someone "drove you to it". Whoah! Katy bar the door on this one! I don't believe such a law was mentioned in Labour's manifesto. Perhaps it is an new and exciting initiative with which Blair can be personally associated.)

I find the British very passive. You should be threatening your MPs and local associations and telling them that they don't have permission to interfere with the internet. As I said, Blair does respond well to bullying.

Anonymous said...

Does Alastair Campbell know what the truth is? Never seen any sign of that yet.

Apart from his authorship of security reports, didn't he describe Robert Maxwell as a "big man with a big heart"?

Anonymous said...

Hmm... (sniffing the air) I smell fear! You know you're on to a winner when you get criticism. Blog code of conduct? Pah! Wishful thinking on AC's part.

Anonymous said...

Alastair Campbell lecturing on media standards? That's like a paedophile lecturing on child safety! Very New Labour, particularly after Margaret Hodge's local government career!

Anonymous said...

Well, a lot of bloggers don't like Alastair Campbell, so I guess this simply restores kharmic balance.

Anonymous said...

If Campbell doesn't like blogs then that is every reason to support and encourage them.

Mr 'Integrity' Campbell...