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News and Comment January 2012

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16 January (Part 2) - The Rottenest of Boroughs

Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs AwardsPrivate Eye awarded its top prize for 2011 to South Tyneside council which admitted spending well over £100,000 attempting to discover the identity of a blogger. No need to do that in Bexley where the blogging policy is stick to the facts and show your face.

Carmarthenshire council was the runner up for having blogger Jacqui Thomson thrown in the cells for taking her camera to a council meeting. Another council that spends money taking the cops to dinner and calling in favours presumably.

Carmarthenshire council has nothing on Bexley where the Constitution was changed in response to government encouragement of “Citizen Journalists”. It banned photography and prevailed upon its friends to carry out a dawn raid, confiscate computers, cameras and phones and incarcerate a blogger in a cell all day before charging him under the Harassment Act for a list of offences he didn’t commit. After three appearances in court and a hefty barrister’s bill the prosecution offered no evidence. Predictable when there never was any but it’s Teresa O’Neill’s council at its most vindictive.

Someone should let Private Eye know what goes on here. Oh, they just have. The obscene blog saga may be right up their street.


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