It’s not very often I come out in defence of an MP and even less often a Liebour MP but I have to defend Paul Flynn MP over the attempted censorship of his blog.
Flynn makes fun of his fellow MPs and gives them nicknames on his blog. Some of the things he says about his colleagues are quite scathing although not with the same vehemence as people like the Devil or the ginger one. But the Commons thought police didn’t like the idea of him using his propaganda allowance to pay for that sort of thing and told him, in not so many words, to stop taking the piss.
If you look at the top political blogs in terms of visitors, influence and noteriety, the only one written by a politician is Bob Piper and that’s because he’s blunt, critical and takes the piss. It’s what people want to read, it’s what makes political blogs interesting. People don’t want to read commentary or extracts of policy, they want to know who’s shagging who, who scratches their arse and then sniffs their fingers, who goes on 12 hour benders in the Commons bar and all that jazz. They want to see politicians being called names and generally sneered at.
Flynn did the right thing – something you wouldn’t generally expect from a Liebour MP – and dipped his hand in his own pocket to pay the £250 a year cost of hosting his blog which means the Commons thought police have no excuse to censor him. Interestingly, according to his blog he did this 18 months ago but the BBC are only now reporting it. It’s common for the dead tree press and even news behemoths like the BBC and Sky to be hours or even days behind blogs but surely 18 months is a bit too long to be excusable?