You’ve Been Blogged!

Yesterday’s news that Nadine Dorries is going to take legal action against Derek Draper and Damian McBride came as no great surprise to anyone, seeing as it was all announced in April.

(The whole Smeargate scandal, as the affair has come to be called, is concisely summed up here for those who wish to refresh their addled memories.)

On the surface, it’s all a bit ‘ho-hum’ as far as I’m concerned.

All it seems to me to be is a couple of blokes with too much autonomy and a certain incompetent knack for rumour-mongering, who got caught out due to their own stupidity, although time will tell if anyone else higher up the food chain at Number 10 was involved – the organ grinders, as it were, rather than their dancing monkeys.

However, dig just a little deeper into the recent developments and it all becomes a little more interesting…

Yesterday, when the news first broke, you couldn’t read about it without hearing that two bloggers had served summonses on Draper and McBride.

Try and find exact quotes about events as reported yesterday and it’s not easy.

Mainly because yesterday’s reporting was so innaccurate and I’m guessing that the various editors pulled or fettled the original stories.

Even I, with my very limited legal knowledge, thought that it was strange that Guido and Tory Bear had suddenly branched out into some sort of quasi-legal sideline.

Times can’t be getting that hard, surely?

The truth of the matter, however, is that the two cheeky chappies had simply delivered letters before action or letters of claim – first steps before an actual summons.

In the case of Tory Bear, he could have delivered whatever the fuck he wanted – a Steinway Grand with the summons chiselled on the lid, or an elephant that shat out the summons in morse-coded dollops of crap – but it would have had no legal basis as it was Kate Garraway – Mrs Derek Draper – who accepted the letter and not Draper himself.

In the case of Tory Bear, you can see that this self-proclaimed ‘right wing blogger’ might indeed help Mrs Dorries who – in spite of everything that has been said about her, not to mention the expenses scandal – is still a Tory MP.

Fair enough, maybe help out a fellow Tory, but to film the letter being delivered and then to put that footage on his blog?

What a stunt…

In the case of Guido, it’s a little less clear.

Guido waits outside the school McBride is working at and then gives him his letter.

No video this time, but instead, on Guido’s blog, a rather strange picture of McBride in a rather bizarre outfit of white jacket and baseball cap (a bad sartorial combination, it has to be said).

Labels are pernicious, but they’re sometimes the only thing we’ve got, so when it’s widely understood that Guido is a right wing Libertarian then his actions yesterday are a little less comprehensible than Tory Bear’s.

OK, Guido was the blogger who broke the Smeargate story.

Well done.

He really stuck it to Draper and McBride.

I approve.

He showed us that life inside Number 10 was really rather squalid – nay, corrupt.

Great.

I’m not even going to try and take anything away from Guido – I admire the guy and wish him all the best in what has become big business and career success.

What I do object to is what he and Tory Bear may be doing to blogging through stunts such as yesterday’s.

Many people, myself included, think that the MSM is dead on its arse, biased, directly and knowingly instrumental in carrying out government policies, devious and corrupt.

Blogging seems to offer an alternative with its ability, in the hands of certain bloggers, to be used in a manner which is without the usual amount of self and vested interest found in the MSM.

Yes, of course many blogs are also full of opinion, but the better ones will also tolerate criticism and debate to temper and balance it.

No, blogging isn’t a direct replacement for a newspaper or a news bulletin but it certainly allows much freer discussion of what makes the headlines – and sometimes matters ‘they’ don’t even want to make the headlines.

Fair enough…

Knife someone in the back if they deserve it.

Give the blade a twist.

Tell people about it.

Boast about it.

Gloat over it.

I fucking would…

But tying a metaphorical blue ribbon to the metaphorical knife hilt and then attaching a little metaphorical calling card to it – after metaphorically absailing in from a metaphorical helicopter wearing a metaphorical black outfit like the fucking Milk Tray guy – is maybe going a little too far and pushes blogging into some of the areas we’ve come to despise in the MSM.

Of course, anyone can blog about anything they like in whatever manner they like, but then if their readers start to take their blogging less seriously than they used to and start to see more self-interest than content, they have only themselves to blame.

Nah…the whole Smeargate thing is starting to get a little bit too ‘You’ve Been Framed’ for me…

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3 Responses

  1. Well, this is something I think they’ve learned from Old Holborn, who is the original shameless self-publicist. Stunts to make people think you’re doing something to clean up politics (or whatever) help to cement and grow the reader base.

    I found out when I was on the receiving end of one of Old Holborn’s stunts last year just how uncritical much of the blogosphere is when it comes to this kind of thing.

  2. Was McBride dressed as Jonathan King????

    @Obo – OH and Guido have both mastered the marketing art of propaganda. Personally I haven’t read Guido for months and I may catch up on OH once a fortnight.

    Neither are required reading anymore, and much of that is down to the quality of comments attached.

  3. I read Guido only when there’s anything major going on that he might have some sort of scoop on.

    OH gets read weekly.

    Obo and yourself get a daily read.

    I agree re the comments.

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