UK Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Leake chooses his blog over his party
September 19, 2005 3:41 PM   Subscribe

UK politician chooses his blog over his party: Paul Leake, a Liberal Democrat councillor in Durham, was asked by his local party to remove any "controversial" posts from his weblog and to give them the right to vet future posts. Denis Jackson, another Liberal Democrat on Durham City Council, said that the Labour councillors were using the blog to find "lurid headlines". Leake refused, and stepped down from the party. He'll now serve his constituents as an independent. [Via The Political Weblog Project]
posted by tapeguy (3 comments total)
Good on him! The kind of constraints political party members face in this day and age is a cancer on democracy. Particularly in countries like the UK and Australia, where political parties retain much more control over the freedom of expression of their members - I would have thought a party like the LDP would have been a bit more progressive. Our Australian eqivalent, the Australian Democrats, seem to let this senator say what he wants on his weblog.

I am supposing, however, that this only made Metafilter because it involved a many people have left their party because the party tried to control what they said to journalists in a newspaper?
posted by Jimbob at 6:28 PM on September 19, 2005

The reason the Lib Dems are over-reacting to this is that they've been damaged in at least one bi-election thanks to comments being taken from a weblog, quoted out of context by the Labour Party activists, and the resulting "story" appearing in the local press. Similar things are happening here in Wales - I have been targeted by an "anti-Nationalist" website which uses the same tactics to "take down" (their words) people who can be connected to Plaid Cymru.

I'm not defending what the Liberals have done here, it's obviously craven, but the Labour Party has access to the media that the smaller parties can only dream of, and have no compunction about creating cock and bull stories out of nothing, knowing that "it was on the internet" is enough for most hacks.

posted by ceiriog at 12:26 AM on September 20, 2005

Good for him!
posted by nofundy at 9:39 AM on September 20, 2005

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