Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Vicky's Campaigns

Lots of people ask me what a local councillor does. We are all different. My passion is campaigning, often for issues outside the closed remit of "local councillor". I've added a list of campaigns with links to a story on each, you can see some of the history, what I've done or am doing and an update.

6 comments:

Jherad said...

Hi Vicky,

First of all, my sincere apologies for an off-topic comment - I'd send an email but thought I'd try here first.

I was wondering if you might share your views, as a conservative blogger, on the recent situation surrounding Nadine Dorries and the review into the time limit on abortion.

Nadine wrote a 'minority report' (http://www.dorries.org.uk/story.aspx?id=572) which accused an unnamed member of the select committee of leaking information to Ben Goldacre, who with said information wrote an article for the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/oct/27/1).

When the author, Ben Goldacre, later showed (http://www.badscience.net/2007/10/oooooh-im-in-the-minority-report/) that the information he had obtained had been in the public domain all along (in fact downloadable in PDF format from the Parliament website), Nadine refused to withdraw or explain the allegations she had made. After numerous people pointed out the factual error on her personal blog, she 'moderated' critical comments, whilst allowing positive comments through, and then finally barred all comments completely claiming she no longer had the time to deal with them.

I personally believe that whatever her personal views on abortion are, such behaviour can only damage the perception of politicians held by the public. Debate should be open and honest, rather than stifled and abused. Your thoughts?

Many thanks!

Vicky Ford said...

jheard

Thanks for your thoughts... Im all for politicians being open with their thoughts and open forum blogging. I write on my blog so that people can see who I am and what my thoughts are. If used well it can promote debate.

I read Nadine's blog many months ago well before the abortion debate and even back then she was being hectored online with comments I rate as Certificate 18 and well beyond. I believe that this abuse comes from a small minority of people.

I agree that debate should be open and honest. I'm sorry that many bloggers have had to moderate or switch off comments or even stop blogging altogether because of that small minority. I hope I won't have to!

Jherad said...

Many thanks for your reply Vicky.

The abortion debate can (and does) provoke very heated arguments from both sides - as you point out, comments can get pretty nasty, and indeed in some cases were well before the incident in question. Unfortunately it appears Nadine's moderation in this case targeted even polite comments which raised the issue between her and Ben Goldacre in a light unfavourable to her (critics started cross posting comments made to her site on Ben's at the same time, to compare what 'got through'), whilst favourable comments were approved quickly.

If a blogger writes an article about someone else, do you believe they should oblige themselves to give an open 'right of reply' to them (whilst moderating abuse) on their blog?

I appreciate your time on this. I hope it doesn't come across as a personal attack, but more a question of blogging ethics in general.

Vicky Ford said...

Sorry about the delay in replying. Its a difficult issue. We want politicans to be more open and I started this blog so that people could know more about what I do and think, I listen to comments and take them on board. But sometimes even my lowly blog gets hundreds of readers a day and my email box can get very busy too.

I can't comment specifically about the blogs you mention as I havent been close to them but on the whole blogs have helped open up transparency on sometimes controversial subjects, that should be encouraged. It cant take over the day job and that is why I understand Nadine had to restrict hers. I hope people will focus on the issue rather than on the nitty gritty of blog ethics. Thanks Vicky

Jherad said...

Many thanks for your time Vicky, much appreciated!

jessy said...

really thanks ......i agree with your thoughts.......