Censorship and Civility

It will come as no surprise that Guido has no intention of abiding by any Code of Conduct as advocated by Tessa Jowell yesterday. She wants the bloggersphere (sic) to be “OurSpace”, a public commons. Well here is the bad news Tessa, this online space is private property.

To be fair she was advocating self – censorship rather than state – censorship. Iran and China have blogger Codes of Conduct that are voluntary. If you insult religion or undermine the party you are volunteering to go to jail. One woman’s incivility is another blogger’s freedom of speech. It may not be to the taste of politicians or self-appointed arbiters of blogging protocol, but that is how it is, freedom of speech means you will find people saying disagreeable things in disagreeable ways.

Online rudeness and rowdiness are not a threat to democracy, blogging is not even a parody of democracy, it is a bit of software that allows everyone with an internet connection to publish online easily. That is it. The revolution will not be blogged, but the advance of the citizen journalist means that, hopefully “the truth” will be more likely to come out in the future. It is certainly harder for those in power to manipulate the media when the media is more horizontally dispersed because it includes thousands more independent sources. Some of which you will inevitably not like.

Today is World Press Freedom day. Bloggers are in jail around the world for insulting the state, religion and the dignity of their rulers. It can’t happen here can it?

Is It Local?

In general Guido doesn’t do local stories unless they have national implications because they are (a) of local interest only (b) incredibly involved (c) boring. Also they invariably involve tales of petty corruption which would require resources that Guido does not have to validate. The Sunday Times has the resources to put an undercover reporter into Labour’s Leeds party operation to uncover corrupt Postal Vote practises. Guido does not and sticks to Westminster stories.

There are plenty of local focus blogs that break local stories, Greenwich Watch does what it says on the tin to great effect and the annoyance of the local council. The blog billed as the “Welsh version of Guido Fawkes” goes from strength to strength. Despite a certain similarity www.ArsemblyWales.org will not be confused with the official ww.AssemblyWales.org. Some tribute sites are better than others. This one has a few other stylistic similarities that co-conspirators might recognise
.

Freedom of Expression is Absolute

According to the respected human rights advocacy group, Article 19, in 2003 Iran became the first country ever to imprison a blogger for views expressed online. Since then, over 28 bloggers and online journalists have been imprisoned on various charges such as “insulting the Supreme Guide, propaganda against the regime, threatening national security, incitement to rebellion and insulting leading figures in the regime.”

Every day Guido wakes up with the sole intention of inciting rebellion and insulting leading figures in our own regime – so a sense of solidarity is natural.

Guido ventures into foreign matters only because the dead-tree-press are getting into a bit of a lather about us hoi polloi writing, horror, what we like on blogs, Jonathan Freedland is today’s worrier about the health of the blogosphere. His focus is on unruly comments. He notes the quip “First they came for the commenters, and I said nothing because I did not comment.” That sentiment is Guido’s feeling. The comments here do get out of hand occasionally (imagine what they’d be like if Guido didn’t hit delete). The house rules are mysterious, arbitrary and sometimes inconsistently exercised. But this blog is not a public service, it is private property, no taxpayers were harmed in the production of this blog. Nobody forces you to come here, you don’t have to read it, so if you don’t like it, don’t come back.

Ciao Tutto da Venezia

Am away for the weekend and forgot to put comment moderation on. You-know-who posts five comments on one post – then cries “he deleted me” when the inevitable happens. Iain has now banned him as well, so he is starting an anti-Iain Dale blog to join his anti-Guido blog. That is fine by me, freedom of speech means he is entitled to publish his views.

The difference in audience size enjoyed by the likes of Iain and Guido compared to the contributors to our respective anti-blogs is growing. Now readers will know that Guido, like Iain, is a humble type, shy and retiring even, so it is with some hesitation that Guido ventures to say that the reason Iain and Guido have far more readers is that we try to be entertaining and bring news. Now Guido may only aspire to gossip and tittle-tattle (over 80,000 people have watched the Gordon the Bogeyman story), but that seems to be what people want and enjoy.

It may not be what others think Guido should write about, it may not be in the deferential style that others think should be employed, it certainly gets up the noses of the old media and the embedded-in-the-political-system journalists known as the Lobby. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

Simple. Better still, offer a more compelling and attractive product that beats Guido in the competitive marketplace that is the blogosphere. That takes hard work. The easier path is just to call for censorship or attack and try to undermine the legitimacy of your rivals. Claim that Iain and Guido’s ascendancy is not based on hard work or talent, but lies and fiction, claim that the two most successful and well known bloggers in Britain somehow undermine blogging. We have done so much to popularise this medium – it is not going to wash. Blogging is just an easy way of publishing, it is a software platform, not a religious movement. Get real.

The new anti-Iain blog is in a sense a tribute blog and further evidence that the contributors have a poverty of ideas. They would enjoy more success if they tried something less derivative and more novel. Meantime Dizzy wants an anti-blog as well. You’re no one daahhling, if you haven’t got one.

GOTCHA!

Fooled some readers and bloggers yesterday. Guido will spare the blushes of the leading blogger who explained in detail why Guido’s traffic would and should be down. Despite the move and the resultant broken links, traffic is again up some 10% last month, unique visitors: 326,897, pageviews: 478,717. Iain Dale remain’s the main referrer – as if Tom Watson would ever be popular.

In the coming months Guido expects big developments in Loans for Lordships, including a new witness coming forward. Gordon Brown’s very own Smith Institute will be in Guido’s line of fire – expect a direct hit.

This is the blog you love, and they hate.

Traffic Surprise

Two surprises in fact – last month saw an unprecedented dip in traffic to this blog. Excluding the summer and Christmas holidays (when Guido stops posting) this blog has had a year-on-year, month-on-month trend of rising audience numbers. Today sees the end of that trend. Traffic dipped some 20% down to a mere 368,401 page-views, below even January’s 404,427 page-views. Guido presumes that last month’s website re-design and re-location of the hosting from 5thNovember.blogspot.com to www.Order-Order.com was a factor.

The second surprise was that Tom Watson MP has replaced Iain Dale as the top referring website, an indication that perhaps his traffic is either eclipsing Iain’s or that he writes about Guido more. Hard to say.

Speech Writing This Morning

Best Man at a wedding this afternoon, so no blogging…

As Usual With Upgrades, Things Need Tweaking

Consider the blog to be in Beta version…

UPDATE : Colour error fixed, apparently an errant { was responsible. Those complaining about the width of the text box being too small should know it is unchanged, the page is just more wide-screen. The text column on the left is, if you are one of the increasing number of people reading this on a mobile device, a better format. More tweaks coming.

That Taxpayer Funded Non-Political Blog Again

When the Treasury finds out it is paying for this someone is going to be in big trouble. How did this get through moderation? If you have a civil servant paid a pro-rata rate of some sixty grand to do

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Miliband’s Blog Assistant Costs £62,400 a Year

Further to the stories about the Miliblogger’s taxpayer funded blog, Tory Radio has calculated that since Miliband says

…he has an official effectively acting as his blogging assistant who does about 10 hours work a month at a cost of

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Miliblogger Sulking, De-linking

Miliband has, in an incredibly revealing fit of pique, now removed his link to this blog from his blog-roll, (he only added Guido to his blog-roll a month ago for some blogospheric street cred). This follows the New Statesman

[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Right Tunes

Da Fink is asking for music choices from right-leaning types. My personal favourite tune is (ex-Massive Attack) Nicolette’s “No Government”. Cool Acid Jazz with anarchist philosophy in lyrical form. Before you protest, anarchy is right-of-centre if you are an

[…]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Ed Balls on his defeat:

“I’m a symbol of the vibrancy of our democracy.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Arise, Sir Eric! Arise, Sir Eric!
ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH CONTINUED ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH CONTINUED
Stella Grills Dimbleby on Sexuality Stella Grills Dimbleby on Sexuality
New Select Committee Chair Allocation in Full New Select Committee Chair Allocation in Full
Miliband: Don’t Move to the Centre Miliband: Don’t Move to the Centre
Insta-Bunga! Insta-Bunga!

GREEN PAEDO RING RUMBLED GREEN PAEDO RING RUMBLED
BIONIC MAN CONTROLS TWO ROBOTIC ARMS WITH HIS MIND BIONIC MAN CONTROLS TWO ROBOTIC ARMS WITH HIS MIND
TECH NOSTALGIA: LYCOS SELLS ITS PATENTS TECH NOSTALGIA: LYCOS SELLS ITS PATENTS
BIN LADEN PLANNED JIHAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE BIN LADEN PLANNED JIHAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE
CAMERON’S UBER PALS SQUARE UP AGAINST BORIS CAMERON’S UBER PALS SQUARE UP AGAINST BORIS
Andy Burnham: “I Would Follow David Moyes Textbook” in Office Andy Burnham: “I Would Follow David Moyes Textbook” in Office
BBC CLIMATE FORECAST THREE YEARS OUT OF DATE BBC CLIMATE FORECAST THREE YEARS OUT OF DATE
UKIP Latest: Suzanne Speaks UKIP Latest: Suzanne Speaks
24 Hour Drinking: “The Best Thing the Labour Party Ever Did” 24 Hour Drinking: “The Best Thing the Labour Party Ever Did”
Fight! UKIP’s Steven Woolfe v Jean-Marine Le Pen Fight! UKIP’s Steven Woolfe v Jean-Marine Le Pen
Hilton’s Hipsters & High Tories Hilton’s Hipsters & High Tories
Tech City Chair Runner and Riders Tech City Chair Runner and Riders
SHIELDS SHUFFLED UPSTAIRS AS NEW INTERNET SAFETY MINISTER SHIELDS SHUFFLED UPSTAIRS AS NEW INTERNET SAFETY MINISTER