Wednesday 20 January 2010

Say "Harrow" to a blog war !!!!!!!!

I thought we'd take a little holiday from the knockabout politics of Barnet and take a nice little holiday on the 114 bus to Harrow.

So you thought the blogs of Barnet were a rough old mob? We are a bunch of pussies compared to the bunfight which is going on in the London Borough of Harrow. In the Blue corner we have Conservative PPC for Harrow West Dr Rachel Joyce. Rachel is a former Lib Dem supporter, and she's been writing a blog for some time. She's actually one of my favourite Tories (if I have such a thing), as she's a GP so she clearly does a bit of good for the community. She also dislikes the BNP almost as much as I do, and says so regularly on her blog, which to me means she's OK.

In the Red Corner, we have PCS Will, who also writes a blog. Will is a Labour Party member and regular commenter on Rachels blog. He doesn't agree with Rachel on very much and has posted hundreds of comments on Rachels blog, explaining to her the error of her ways. Will is involved as a Trades unionist. Strangely enough, I vaguely know him as he used to work in a music shop at Apex Corner in Mill Hill and we share a good few mutual friends. Will is a good guy who tries to do his bit. He rather cheekily plagerised Don't Call Me Dave's "Not The Barnet Times" blogname, calling his blog "Not The Harrow Times".

It all started when Rachel posted this blog - - explaining how Labour had airbrushed a picture of David Cameron, criticising the Tories for Airbrushing David Cameron (I hope you got that).  Next up there was a blog on PCS Will's blog saying Rachel had banned him - - Rachel took exception to PCS Will calling a local Tory bigwig a "Bully Boy". I had a look through PCS Wills blog and there was a rather telling blog that triggered the tussle - -what is most intersting here is the quality of the comments (presumably left by irate Harrow Tories) - Here is a good example of one:-

Anonymous said..
PCS Limp Willy - why did labour adopt the extra-airbrushed pic of David? Tell us how proud you are of the last labour mal-administration in Harrow (remember the 21% tax hike and the £9 million black hole?)
16 January 2010 17:38 
So just to summarise. It started with a blog about Labour being "The Nasty Party". Then a Labour supporter was rather nasty about a local Tory. A few local Tories the were rather nasty about a Labour supporter, then the Tory blogger banned the Labour blogger for being nasty, then the Labour Blogger says he will allow any comments on his blog, but the Tory blogger responds by saying he's banned her comments. Then rather bizarrely  the Labour blogger posts a blog saying that Boris Johnson is an example of a Sensible Tory  - - Then the Tory Blogger posts a blog saying the Labour blogger will be allowed back so long as he's nice about Tories and doesn't make stuff up  -

Got that? I've a little advice to my fellow bloggers in Harrow, both red and blue. Both of you seem to me to be decent types. Both of you are trying to get your message across as best you can. Just for a second remember that these blogs are read by the wider world. What on Earth would a casual voter think if they stumbled across this particular spat? You can put what you like on your blogs, it all adds to lifes rich tapestry, but it all looks rather silly to me. What has the world come to if The Barnet Eye is having to tell other bloggers to be sensible !!!!!


Rachel Joyce said...

I have already told you that what I am trying to get Will to do is not to lie about Bob Blackman. He claimed (and completely got his timeline wrong) that Bob bullied David Ashton out of his parliamentary seat. ANY casual observer knows that is not true.
I have a zero tolerance for smearing people, and if a Conservative did it to Labour, and I knew it was wrong and a personal smear, I would ask them to withdraw politely.
I do notice that you have done so in the past when you have made mistakes. We all make mistakes, but Will should a. get his facts right, b. not call people bully boys (especially when it is unfounded) and c. acknowledge he was wrong, and then we can all move on. It isn't hard.
I saw Bob Blackman being basically accused of racism in the past when actually he is known for the opposite. I think sometimes we have to not just let the other side say these things, but actually stand up and say "that behaviour is not acceptable".
As I have already said, I think Will probably has gone into politics for all the right reasons, but he has got dragged into tribalism that brings all politics down. I hope he withdraws his comments..

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Wow, everyone looks real good in this and VERY grown-up.


Anonymous said...

Harrow first.... Enfield next?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rog T,

Great blog – love it!

Yes indeed "NOT" the Harrow Times was kind of unashamed plagiarism as I did know of the existence of “NOT” the Barnet Times, but in truth the name was suggested to me by someone who had no idea of Not the Barnet Times’s existence. Anyway as I was born in (Edgware General) and grew up in Barnet Borough (Hendon) I hope I can be forgiven?! 

The blogs I vetoed (there were several) were from the “Limp Willy” blogger and contained nothing but swearwords and derogatory comments – had there been a single political or other comment in them I would have published them despite the swearwords and derogatory comments, as I did with the “limp Willy” comment you used in this blog.

Not the Harrow Times is totally politically unaffiliated; it is solely a personal diary, or “web log” of mine through which I air my own, personal political thoughts and views on local and national issues, and to which anyone is allowed to reply. I started it because I felt that it was high time I got off my backside and ran my own blog instead of continually “poaching” Rachel’s. I don’t deny that I am both a Labour Party member and supporter, but my blog has nothing to do with the Labour party other than my own personal support for them. Rachel’s is the only political blog in Harrow so far as I’m aware, which I felt was rather unfair – another reason why I started mine. Interestingly there is lots of gossip and rumour that a lot of Rachel’s blog is written for her by Tory admin. Certainly some of the blogs read word for word the same as official Tory press releases – her attack on the National Care Service proposals being an example.

This blog sat with not a single comment for over 6 weeks until my “Ashton resigns – Tories in Crisis?” blog was posted, then I had around 20 comments! Alas I haven’t had anything for a week now, which is kind of interesting as I appear to have touched a Harrovian Tory nerve with this topic; usual political executive story – they claim they’re united, others claim they’re always in-fighting, and Ashton had had enough so stepped down. Also rumours abound that Ashton’s wife (who also stepped down) and the deputy leader, Susan Hall, don’t, - well it’s your blog not mine so I shall be polite and non-contentious (!) – don’t “get on”.

Ironically I thought I was really nice about him, especially considering he was in charge of the social services portfolio when his administration wanted to downgrade Harrow’s adult care to “critical” only and only a court injunction stopped them.

Rachel’s a great person and I have all the time in the world for her; I have often told her she’s too left wing to be a Tory! But alas she’s on the other side of a fight for the closest seat in the country. Statistically if the result is Tory 40% Labour 30% LibDem 20% our MP loses to Rachel by 47 seats. That’s a useless stat really as it’s national figures that takes no account of local demographics and the boundary changes, but it does show you how close this seat is, and much as I like Rachel and hope very much that one day she is an MP, I don’t want her to be the MP for Harrow West! It’s nothing personal, it’s just an election.

In the meantime I am looking into my apparent factual inaccuracy, but I’m sure I read somewhere that David was going to run for Harrow East – Rachel says he declined it. And there’s a difference in that in my view; very subtle, but a difference, because if he didn’t decline to run then he was going to run, and as he is not now running then what made him change his mind – Bob Blackman perhaps? Anyway if I’m wrong I shall say so.

Please do enjoy your 114 trip to Harrow for a holiday, assuming that is that First Crapital Connect can get you and your fellow Barnetians to Mill Hill Broadway in order to catch that bus?! Maybe tube it to Edgware and get the 340 instead?!

Best wishes,

PCS Will.

Anonymous said...

Dear All,

I have posted a follow-up today on my blog entitled "Bob a Job week?!" - please do take a look! I would be fair and let Rachel's bloggers know as well but, as you know, she's banned me! (So much for Tory fredom of speech views).


PCS Will.

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