Posts Tagged ‘Blogger libel laws

20
May
08

Closing down blogs, and post offices – Et tu David?

David Wright MP recently silenced a blogger over a parody website. I’d be wary of the approach of the blog in question, (if you are going to parody, it needs to be so far fetched so that no ambiguity can occur), however what I find less appealing is David’s handling of the situation.

Mr Wright said he met police and officers are now examining legislation to see if any criminal offense has been committed.

“This kind of thing debases politics so I have now referred the matter to police because this type of activity needs to be stopped.

This approach, to see whether he can press charges against the blogger, is of wider concern. So in true internet solidarity, I thought I’d have a pop at him too, by publishing this rant, which I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks.

I’m sure that most of you know that the Royal Mail has decided that the only way to keep themselves afloat is to close down 2500 of their 14000 branches. They claim that the service is leaking between £3.5-4 million per week, and the cull should fix the issue. Cue them eying up every small post office in the country, including the one up the road from myself.

The development forces each of these small outlets, and the people who rely on them, to fend off the onslaught. So who would vote for such a thing to happen? Well, David Wright MP for one. And then at every opportunity, voted to congratulate Gordon for a job well done. So from the votes cast, David is happy with taking away this service from the most vulnerable in his community, he doesn’t want a lengthy consultation, and will congratulate the government in doing so.

The audacious part of the plot is when he produced and distributed this letter. (Click for full size)

Letter from David Wright MP

(It isn’t an April Fools, I did wonder about the date.)

The Post Office has announced that…

It’s a thoughtfully crafted letter, raises concern over the closure, and his commit to the fight for saving post office branches. However, it seems more than slightly duplicitous, in light of the voting record in the links above.

If we are to save this branch…

If you are an MP, your gladiatorial arena is the House Of Commons. And when you vote to close schools, post offices, or hospitals, you are voting to close YOUR school. It’s not good enough to vote for a nationwide closure, and then say “as long as it doesn’t happen on my turf”. By not standing against it, you are electing to put your locality forward to suffer the losses. And by implication, that your constituents are happy with it. If that is not the case, you need to be fighting it.

There’s one great thing to come out of this. It is the ability for adversity to mobilise a community into solidarity, and action. There was a highly attended public meeting, and the opinion against the closures was heatedly aired. Representatives from Royal mail were there, as was I, (through gritted teeth, the meeting was arranged by the Conservatives).

The local feeling of hostility towards closing the branch was positively electric. If I were a politician, say an MP, I would have considered it perfect opportunity to show support for such a hot local campaign. Get my face about, show my outrage; easy votes. Stick one to the Tories. Except we have a Labour MP who voted to close it in the first place. David Wright. Best keep the head low eh?

Lets see this one get pulled…. Oh, hello officer..