Monday 9 July 2007

And You Voted Tony to be....

Indicted as a war criminal. Decisively.

Thirteen of you want to see Tony in a stripy shirt heading off in a big white van.
Eight of you agreed with his choice as Middle East Peace Envoy. I can only guess those of you who voted this way thought this was a joke.

It isn't. That IS what he's going to do.

Four of you want to see him receive a peerage(???)
Baron Blair of Bungussomecash?

One of you wanted to buy his memoirs.
I think that was Heart of Darkness.

This week's issue is actually something where your opinions are important to me on a serious level.
Some of you may be aware of subjects up for discussion at the moment within Blogpower.
The issue is whether to expell a member of Blogpower.
I'm not going to give you a full history- those who don't know the story and want to have a look can read it at defending the blog, or by looking at back posts at Nourishing Obscurity or Central News. My opinions as they were, can be found in my archives.

Of all the issues being debated, there are two which affect my own opinion. One concerns some dodgy goings on during the recent awards that you can read about at the sites listed above, should you wish.

The other is wider.

Currently, Blogpower is not as diverse, inclusive, or representative of the wider bloggosphere as it could be. Clearly, we are not attracting left of centre bloggers, female bloggers, bloggers from other faith backgrounds, etc.

Put another way, if you're on my blogroll, it means I visit your site and value your contributions here. I will say that I'm privileged to have some of the quality visitors I do.
And many of them would be worthy additions to Blogpower.

To me, the decisive factor is, does including blogs that openly champion their support for racist parties narrow the range of people who become interested in Blogpower?

BP members are voting between now and Friday. My vote will depend on what readers here think.

Have your say.


Anonymous said...


I dont want racist blogs on the blogroll.

Not because i'm squeamish about these things but because i think it puts off many good bloggers from joining.

Anonymous said...

CBI--I would hesitate to take seriously anyone who is so incontrovertibly set in their opinions or beliefs that opposing debate is simply grist for their hate mill. That said, I would not consider any collective fair and honest if they censor or control who is part of the collective.

I say open your roll even to hate-mongers, their radicalism should incite fiery debate. Debate that will, given time, temper other's values, opinions, and maturity.

Anonymous said...

OK Im missin somethin here first Im reading about Tony Blair (me likes him) than Im readin about Blog somethin? did I hit a fork in the raod here somemwheres?

pleas come and have a visit at my blog also at your leisure of course
harleyblues christina

Anonymous said...

Racism is the ultimate form of fear and ignorance. One's spiritual growth is thwarted by an impaired desire for self-preservation. Racists live in a pitch black perpetual darkness and can't see the forest for the trees. No one is on this planet alone and we have to get along with each other whether we want to or not.

Anonymous said...

I say open your roll even to hate-mongers, their radicalism should incite fiery debate


Are you mad? BP is a private club. Ive no problem with racists airing their views on their own blogs. But not on any blog that i am a part of.

Anonymous said...

Pommygranate- I'm tending to agree with your assessment.
It wasn't a problem when they were quiet, but recent events have given them publicity that we can only respond to in one way, I fear.

Helen- The blog on question was on my blogroll, as are all BP blogs. I even commented at the site on days when the post weren't on race.
This is about whether or not having Blogs like that in BP puts peope like yourself off joining.

Harley- I have a different poll here running Monday to Monday. Last weeks was on rewards for Blair. This weeks regarding Blogpower, a club which I am a member of, the BP blogroll is on the sidebar.
It represents little bloggers and is a club committed to mutual support. Its quite a closeknit friendly circle and it's something many bloggers would gain from joining.

Alexys- This is my feeling on racism. Not only is it unpleasent, its ultimately futile.
But does the membership of Far Right blogs put you off joining BP?

Anonymous said...

CBI - You could have commented on all my posts then because I dfon't think I have made one racist post.

There is a myth about my people which is that we hate people of other races. I do not hate anyone I have never met or heard of. I need a real reason to hate someone and I don't have reason to hate 6 billion people because they are a different colour.

I have a friend that is not white. I don't hate him even if he is a persian supremacist lol.

Anonymous said...

As someone that you want to join BP this is my view. A persons 'personal' view shouldn't matter. BUT a racist person is NOT going to help out someone who they are prejudiced against. Which seems to go against the BP ethos in that it doesn't create a friendly atmosphere, but especially goes against this =>"Our ethos is tolerance and egality."

As a regular blogger, I don't really care. Its YOUR vote. Do what YOU want with it.

Anonymous said...

Follow some of the links on the blog in question to enter a netherworld of mad racist Neanderthals... I have hesitated to comment or vote as I am aware I am a joke member of Blogpower...

Anonymous said...

I thnk that anyone should be a member of blogpower if they meet the crteria. That criteria should not be about blog content. After all we are all lookng for opinion that vary. You can't have people from all over the spectrum when you filter some out. It just causes them to go underground.

Let them discuss their views and get feedback. Comment yourself. But remember that we can't go on about being repressed by the government or the meda because of our views and then do the same hing ourselves.

it's open or it s not. Can't be both.

As far as racism goes. Many people who are not racsts believe in the BNP they are not all skin heads. They do have some interesting opinions even if they are based on things you don't like.

Let them come into the open let them discuss ther vews and let rational people make up their own minds.

The best defence is havng access to all the facts.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I say a struggling author needs support! I'm one, so I know! :D

ryc: To take the test, you need to sign up with that page... then you'll get the results! :D

Anonymous said...

YDKM- I suppose it depends on how you define racist.
In fact, I concede it is more asylum seekers you post on, and in fact I notice most anti-asylum sentiment amongst my asian friends, so I take your point.

I can't think of any of your posts which have actually offended me personally Wayne. In fact, if that was the criteria, I would have objected to one of the new entrants, the first post I saw on the blog in question being deeply offensive to my faith- I was a little upset actually- but I don't oppose such a blog being in BP, just as I don't in principle oppose your membership, as you know.
But I will vote as late as I can, on the basis of feedback in this poll.
I'm just interested to see what the bloggosphere at large thinks, before making my mind up on this one.

Phish- Your points are true. Wayne would argue that he can and does maintain that ethos.

Mutley- This is true. But I think all of us have links to blogs not all other BP members would like.

Some of the blogs Wayne links too have some very unpleasant things being said in comment threads, this includes the comment threads of the Bournemouth Nationalist, but how far does this affect BP?

As regards your vote, as far as I am aware BP doesn't have grades of membership. Every voice counts.
The whole point in my post is amongst blogs we do need more of, is more light hearted blogs like your own.

Bag- This is my default position. It is the position I have taken myself up till now.
I simply want to be sure that this doesn't harm the image of BP, before I decide myself on this.
I also hope that other BP members do consider this before rushing to decide.

Heart- I shall do that. Problem is when I do that, It's only one or two more clicks to get my own, and I have no willpower. I shall try again in a bit.

Anonymous said...

Pommygranate--lovely, and you can take your ball and go home whenever you like as well. Although I suppose if debate in your private club involves name-calling and sanity-questioning far more than opposing beliefs keep people from joining.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that Blogpower is too right wing and male - but perhaps you weren't saying that but simply stating it as fact. I am totally out of place! Not even political. I visit others and think, 'What am I doing here?!'

But I am disinclined to ban anyone. I simply don't visit those I don't like - and a couple of the newbies I don't think I'll be going to often. But maybe that is against the ethos of Blogpower.

As for the recent polling that caused some disquiet, I would say that it wasn't only the far right that was involved in dodgy goings-on.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it does put me off from joining. I have to respect any group I would join.

Anonymous said...

The great thing about blogging is that you can voice your opinion evenif it is not the popular view.That is the great thing about being an American. I embrace my god given right to make an ass of myself. Thanks to my founding forefathers and the constitution for which it stands! P.S. I love a good debate! Bring it on!I am all about busting up a right wing male dominated forum!

Anonymous said...

INteresting post and poll as it places two ideals I hold very dear conflict.
I am against exclusion and censorship however I think for the BP toallow and promote and give credence to a group like the BNP is condoning , if not giving credibility at the risk of jeapardizing thier own, a voice to incite racism,which in most civilizations is illegal and certainly immoral.
I know that this group (or atleast one member) feel they are a breed apart,a cleaner version perhaps ,than your typical Neo Nazi but I think their views are quite similiar and both are founded on white supremacy.
I have voted in your poll that it would not make a difference to me joining BP but by allowing bloggers such as these and porn ones ( what would our views be if they allowed peodophile blogs?)I would lose respect for the credibility of BP.

Anonymous said...

I think the only time that censorship is acceptable is if it harms other people directly or indirectly.
Having a blog of questionabale content( say mine, where I swear) can be ignored if considered offensive .With the BNP , even if one refuses to patronize or support it ,it still creates racial hatred ,and indirect harm,to people who don't partake of it but who can be victims of such incitement.
We all are in favour of freedom of speech ,however it is illegal to makes threats to others or to yell " fire!" in a crowded place when no such fire exists, for good reason.Would people use those two examples as demeaning our rights to free expression given the harm it causes?

Anonymous said...

Helen- It's worth noting here, that Pommygranate is a Libertarian, like myself, but whilst I am more a Left-Libertarian (if you choose to use that scale of definition, I find it unhelpful), Pommy is a Right-Libertarian.
If Central News is unpalatable for Pommy, I take note.

Liz- There should be no 'out of place' in BP. We're about Blogging! Not political blogging, certainly not about right of centre political blogging.
Note that my blog can get political, but many of the blogs I visit daily are far from.
We come here to see other views, views that enrich us.

As a person, I will say this, I could probably enjoy a pint and a laugh with Wayne. If we didn't talk politics, I'm sure we'd have a good chat about the Premiership, Music, etc.
but my vote, which I WILL CAST Friday morning, will be based on what I think is best for BP.
I will be taking into account the sie poll, the comments here, and the private e mails (thanks for those, the people who sent them) before making my decision on how I feel.
If I feel by Wednesday evening that the feedback I have received goes against current voting at BP, I will post accordingly.

I agree with you on the dodgy voting. They weren't the only ones, but they were the most blatant.
In most other cases, the anamolies were maybe the odd bit of multiple voting by the odd loyal fan.

Alexys- Your opinion means a lot. Thankyou for stating it succintly. I can honestly say your opinion is one of the factors that influences me here.

Poody- I agree. BUT.
As I said over at defending the blog, BP may be in danger of looking like a think tank of right wing bloggers.
It is NOT.

Ego- Yes, I agree. I think as BP members, we have the right NOT to patronise blogs which we find offensive. As I said above, one of the new entrants' most recent posts upset me so much (as a Tridentine Mass supporter, I'm a nutjob apparently), that I really do not want to visit such a blog.
Do I oppose him being in Bp?
Does his membership put other off joining BP?
Probably not.

It is the second issue which is at stake.

Anonymous said...


Left and Right libertarian? whats the diff?

most libs i know either call themselves utilitarians (liberty is good because it works) or natural rights libs (any other state than liberty is morally wrong).

i am a pragmatist and hence prefer the former.

Anonymous said...

CBI-Fine if irrelevant to the issue at hand. Arthur Schlessinger debated this same issue when the university where he taught expelled students for making racist remarks. He argued that battles should be fought using the same "weapons," namely reason and logic versus prejudice and irrationalism. I know of no insidious infection that heals when covered and ignored. This tradition of exclusiveness needs to stop somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Pommy and "the ego". I have been very unhappy about having a blog which links to BNP ones on my site but, when I read Wayne, I couldn't find anything particularly objectionable, so I didn't do anything about it. But I do think it has put some good bloggers off joining BP and does not do our reputation any good. We are being perceived as totally right-wing. I have a friend in Britain who stopped reading my blog because there was a BNP supporting blog in the roll.

Anonymous said...

Ps: Baron B of Bungussomecash - I like that!

Anonymous said...

Pommy- Whereas I incline to the second.
I regard the human species as evolving towards true enlightenment, just a child grows up and accepts respinsibilities.
I see the road to a minimalist form of government, where each know how to govern themselves within a collective ethic, as part of our collective journey.

If you exclude people from debate, they still remain and still hold their opinions, but you have removed the bridge of intellectual interchange.

Helen- And this is why I hesitate here.
Because I do agree with your point.
But look at how Alexys feels about it.
And I understand that too.

Welshcakes- We do look very right wing. If you go a to z down the BP Blogroll, you have to go several blogs down to get a blog that isn't avowedly right of centre. Nothing against those blogs, I do visit them.
But I do wish we were a little more divese. Lord N says he never visits the type of blog we currently don't have, but I do, and I'd like us to have more of those.

I know James wants to resolve this soon, but I have to say, as it stands I'm still an abstention.
There have been many good points made here on all sides, plus a couple of emails, and it's worth noting that BP members generally agree with expelling, whereas non BP views are inclined the other way.

I'm going to have to go think about this tonight if I can.

Anonymous said...

"Identify, Ostracize, Confiscate, Concentrate, Annihilate" these are identified as the five steps (all accomplished legally) that resulted in the Holocaust. Yes, it would be nice to alienate ourselves from people like Muslim extremists who kill 13 year old girls for attending school (June 12, 2007), but we can't. If we refuse to find solidarity and commonality with one of us we give permission to other forms of oppression. Better to take a stand in the face of racism and say emphatically "you are WRONG" than to ostracize them and wonder how hate breeds.
If a 17 year old kid, alone, dejected and bullied wades into focused hate and finds acceptance and not one voice that cries against it, we have created one more racist. Not they, we.