Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Editorial: Underhand or 'fair comment' website vanishes

‘‘Davie Useless MP’ website vanishes from the web. Was the site a below the belt attack or fair comment? You won't be able to decide for yourself now though.

A ‘Davie Useless MP’ website was decried as an electronic version of the ‘poison pen letter by Dave Stewart’s election agent Jimmy Gray and perhaps the Inverness Courier was mischievous in the way they presented it: any regular web user would have found it in seconds with the information presented even though the URL wasn’t prominent.
The blogging team inspected the site and thought it well put together and entertaining, a shame that it was anonymous but was any of the information incorrect? It concentrated on the MP’s pro-government voting record and other information readily available elsewhere. There are rules to be followed at election time though and it may be that they were broken by the content of the anti Stewart site. It obviously worried the Labour Camp and complaints must have been made, hence the site’s early demise. Was it just mirroring a debate about the sitting MP that is in progress anyway?
It is hard to say how much the web will influence this election and whether anyone that went to ‘Davie Useless MP’ website was influenced enough by it to consider voting for other candidates. The internet had a major effect on the US elections but far more people are online in the states (80% compared to less than 50% here), what is certain is that the parties are a lot more web-savy this time round and the Gurn would not be surprised if Dave Stewart had an emergency number to ring to deal with such an occurrence (rouge sitesmust be popping up all over the place) and in that he would be no different from the other parties. Was it an over reaction to complain, however, there was at least a forum for debate on the site and many pro-Stewart messages were posted and an interesting argument may have ensued: there were also critical submissions about the concept of an ‘anonymous attack’. The messages looked on the whole in the MP's favour, including one SNP voter who was considering supporting the MP simply because he thought the site despicable.
The web is here to stay and its influence will grow especially in the ‘blogosphere’ where ordinary punters get to state their views.
Some MP’s have realised this and a few have started their own blogs, although a debate among the blogging community about their status as true ‘blogs’ is underway.
Here's one example
And here's another
Decide for yourselves citizens, blogs or propoganda?


Nairn said...

Who will I vote for?
Eight years ago I joked with someone post the New Labour election victory that it was a shame we didn’t have a Labour government. New Labour have proved themselves to be more right wing than any previous so called socialist party, and the recent antics of the Tories leaves me wondering if they too couldn’t be called New Labour when it comes to some of their more liberal policies.
For me, as well as over one million people who took to the streets to say no (and probably many more who didn’t), the war launched against Iraq by our government hand in hand with the U.S., and against other European nations was a disgrace. No apologies, no stepping down of Mr Blair, actions that might have alleviated those aggrieved by the war.
The strong stance by Tony B will cost New Labour many votes. My guess is that they will scrape a win.
It is such a shame for a government who in so many ways has been exemplary in other areas. A chancellor who has arguably been the best in living memory, but a leadership that has been unwilling to listen to the people over so many issues. If and when it has, it has failed to act. The Iraq war,GM food, identity cards, to name but a few.
Who will I vote for? My X is my business but it will NOT be for New Labour – sorry Davie

Stuart Dickson said...

Underhand Defamation or Legitimate Presentation of Facts and Opinion?

Extract: "Thanks to Gràisg of The Gurn from Nurn blog for bringing the now defunct Davie Useless MP website (blog?) to our attention... it didn't take long to find the Google cached copy of Davie Useless MP. Here is a taste of the content:


Representing pulling wool over eyes, smoke and mirrors, spin and all that general New Labour PR con tricks to look like a hard working local... "

Graisg said...

Here's the latest from the Inverness Courier