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 the moderation you’d at least expect them to be attentive given the controversy.

Da Fink reckons that the Miliblogger would be liberated and change from the Steve Davis of political blogging into something more interesting if he was on a Labour party hosted, rather than a Civil Service restricted, blog. Guido is not convinced that even uninhibited free association wonk-speak would be that interesting. Ever.

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 £300. Now if that was equated to a full time equivalent that would be say 40 hours a week at £30 an hour for 52 weeks which is a whopping £62,400 salary.

£62,400 a year is more than an MP’s salary. The blog should be hosted by the Labour party and the asssistant’s salary should be paid by the Labour party. Miliband should concentrate on sorting out Defra’s serious problems rather than profile raising, partisan propanda blogging.

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

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+ 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 +

House Keeping & Comments Policy Reminder

  • The hosting of this blog is now on Google’s backbone and anything other than http://www.Order-Order.com is likely not to work.
  • Back to the perennial comments policy: there has been too much discussion of policy and politics in the comments of

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Blogged on Thursday, Frontpage on Sunday

Guido’s readers had a preview of the Mail on Sunday’s exclusive earlier this week.

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+ READ MORE +



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team@Order-order.com

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