Lib Dem Voice excludes dissenters from blog awards - so much for being a democratic party!

The Lib Dems like to claim that they are a democratic party. However, you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise if you examined the nominees for Lib Dem Blog of the Year on Lib Dem Voice. Although some of the nominations are interesting in themselves, it is perhaps the omissions that highlight concerns that the Lib Dems are closing ranks to ensure that dissenting voices are not heard.

Take, for example, three high-profile, yet independent-minded Lib Dem blogs: Linda Jack and old favourites of mine, Norfolk Blogger (aka Nich Starling) and Suz Blog

These three bloggers have failed to be nominated in any category at all in the Lib Dems' own internal blog awards. Is it any coincidence that these three bloggers have recently received an enormous amount of criticism from fellow Lib Dem bloggers who objected to their willingness to criticise the leadership of Ming Campbell’s hapless leadership?

Of course, it might be that the other blogs were simply better, who am I, as a Tory, to judge? However, statistics on the Liberal England blog showed that NINE came from the Norfolk Blogger - putting him in third place. You would have to ask yourself why it is that a blogger like Nich Starling, who obviously has a large number of readers, didn’t get nominated, whereas Alex Wilcock, a party loyalist, wrote just eight stories in just over three months, of which a large number appear to be about Doctor Who, was nominated twice! Matt Davies, a councillor in Hunter's own turf of Haringey, was also nominated despite endlessly writing about Tottenham/Spurs and "gigs" (he's so macho!)

Looking at other measures of blog readership and success, I note that the Norfolk Blogger’s technorati ranking is 183, which puts him higher than both Lib Dem Voice itself and Liberal England. Just why do so many Lib Dems read his blog, yet so few nominate him?

Perhaps I am too suspicious of the Dim Lebs, but to my mind it smacks of good old unashamed censorship and cronyism.

Just look at what Nich Starling wrote just this week where he had the guts to criticise his own party about their bizarre statements on the decline in children taking free school meals. As soon as he made the statement, a number of other 'loyal' Dib Lems jumped in to write a blog post in support of the Dim Leb position. In other words, as soon as there is a voice of criticism there is a desperate clamour to crowd out dissenting voices. But why then does he have so many readers amongst Lib Dems? Well it’s like all forms of censorship. The people doing the censoring are often secretly rather titillated by what they see, but in public pretend very much the opposite.

In the same way as my own blog is quite partisan, I am a Conservative to my very core, albeit a liberal one, Nich Starling’s blog is clearly Lib Dem. Like me, he can also see the faults in his own party and is prepared to voice his concerns. Perhaps the Lib Dems are happy to see their opinion poll ratings slide, but if they are to survive they need to start listening to dissenting voices. Because, as I see it, the Dim Lebs don’t really like free speech and it would appear to me that they want to silence Norfolk Blogger by refusing to give him a platform for his views to be heard. The powers that be have got involved and the sandal and beard brigade have closed ranks. Hunter has been banning from commenting on Dim Leb Voice – Nich next, too?

I rather like bloggers who, once in a while, are critical of their own party. In the case of the Norfolk Blogger, I rarely agree with Nich, but respect his blog because I know it will not be a party mouthpiece. It is odd the Lib Dems would prefer Pravda to independent-minded Liberal Democrats. They're a strange party!


Norfolk Blogger said...

Justin, you are far too kind. You can't possibly be a real Tory if you are this generous to a Lib Dem ?

Suz said...

Dissenting voices - that's a good one.

Thank you kind Sir

Ryan said...

As much as Suz still thinks she's a LibDem I'm pretty sure she's no longer a member.