Paul Flynn a victim of net censorship? Don’t make me laugh

Paul Flynn is crying foul over the Parliamentary authorities’ decision to force him to pay for his own blog. Prior to that, he had tried charging the costs to the taxpayer via the Communications Allowance.

Derek Wyatt has also joined the fray:

“They don’t get in the way of my letters or phone calls, so why do they want to interfere in what I put on the web? They only want me to publish anodyne videos that no one will watch.

“They have got it completely wrong. They don’t understand the net. They simply don’t get it. It is like 1984.”

1984? How does this in any relate to state surveillance and state-sponsored torture?

Let’s be clear about some things: not a single MP is being censored or told what they can and can’t say – the issue is whether they can use Parliamentary expenses to do it. Paul Flynn is apparently shelling out £250 for his not particularly impressively designed Typepad blog. Looking at Typepad’s pricing structure, I can’t for the life of me understand why he is paying more than $50 for the service – so what is the other £180-ish being on?

Peter Black
and Lynne Featherstone‘s blogs doesn’t cost them, or the taxpayer, a penny yet by all accounts is considerably more successful. Reason? They haven’t confused style for content. By arguing the toss over this, the only thing Flynn has achieved is to illustrate an example of the ‘sense of entitlement‘ that Sir Christopher Kelly was warning about last week.


  1. Is it £250 for Paul Flynn’s typepad blog in installments or is it quoted as a single, larger figure? If the latter, he probably he paid for someone to code his Typepad CSS stylesheet. Programming WordPress to give you the design you want is non-trivial.

  2. Personally, I find programming WordPress to set basic designs to be pretty trivial, but there you go.

    The BBC says it is an annual charge. I’ve never used Typepad and so can’t comment on how complex it is to use your own skin with it, but Flynn’s design is hardly revolutionary – it’s a very basic header stacked on top of a standard design (which doesn’t even work properly).

    And is he having it redesigned every year?

  3. The whole episode takes another swipe at MPs expenses. Everyone else in the country – individuals, families, businesses – pay for their own websites but our beloved MPs pay for theirs out of our taxes.

    Paul Flynn can write whatever he likes, but he can’t write it on his own blog paid for out of his own money.

  4. Paul’s blog is him as an MP communicating with his constituents and anyone else who is interested.

    Communication being paid for from a communications allowance would not be unreasonable.

    However in their wisdom, they believe that if it is paid for from the communication allowance then they have a say in what manner or tone or content is used in that communication, that is unreasonable.

    However Paul did not whine about it, he simply told them to stuff the communication allowance and he would pay for it with his own money so they could not tell him what he could or could not say in his blog.

    Utterly commendable behaviour from Paul,
    hard understand the kind of idiot who takes it as an opportunity to attack him.

    “Mr Flynn said the authorities had told him to go through his site and remove any criticism of other MPs. ”
    Does anyone seriously think he should have done what he was told?

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