Political parties want their members to keep their views to themselves. We've known this for a long time, but it is being foregrounded by the fact that a growing number of party hacks now have their own websites.
One Lib Dem has just had his membership revoked. Quoting from the letter from party HQ:
“The main arguments in favour of the motion related to postings on your website and letters to the press regarded as illiberal & irreconcilable with membership of the Party.”
The whole story is here. (via Tim Worstall)
Elsewhere, Gareth Davies, a Labour councilor in Durham had his candidature reviewed in the light of his (largely loyal) weblog.
“the Regional Party insisted I be re-interviewed for the local government panel this December because I was viewed by some county party members as a 'loose cannon'.”
Again, the rest is here.
I know I've referred to this before, but it is worth saying it again; Roy Hattersley's is absolutely right in his formulation on the responsibility that an elected representative bears to their political party. Once elected, they must represent their constituents, their Party and their concience in no particular order.
The same must surely also be true of rank-and-file members? Any sensible observer knows that (beyond the world of socialist realism) political parties are an alliance of competing interest groups. If parties continue to try to pretend otherwise (and bloggers will make it increasingly impossible to do so), they will look more and more ridiculous.
Short of Xmas cheer? Well, Tim Worstall's comment box is probably filling up with a debate about 'being sacked for illiberalism.'
Why not check, just to be sure? Ho Ho Ho.
Tags: Blogging, Local Democracy, Politics, Representative Democracy.