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 Â£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 Â£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.