Sunday, 12 April 2009

Guido and the politics of personal destruction

Although Guido has undoubtedly performed a public service in helping get rid of the odious Damian McBride, I have to say that I very rarely read his blog.

Why? Well, basically he indulges in the same sort of personality based politics that he rightly condemns McBride for. Guido's basic stock in trade is that all politicians are lying, thieving, self-serving, hypocritical, perverted scumbags. Indeed, he takes his pseudonym from the apparent belief that Guido Fawkes was the last person to enter Parliament with any honest intent.

Now, unlike what McBride was up to, doubtless much of what appears on Guido's blog is actually true, or at least an approximation of it. But Guido is only human and makes mistakes like the rest of us. And I suspect it wouldn't be entirely unknown for people to feed Guido titbits which aren't true, knowing that they're likely to appear on his blog.

I think we need to get away from the view that all politicians are rogues and fair game for anything that's thrown at them. By all means, when any engage in any wrongdoing, that must be exposed. But the more that people feel that politics is not a profession that good and honourable people can have a part in, the more likely it is that such people will be put off from taking part, leaving the way clear for the rogues to take over.

Let's face it, what right-thinking person is going to get involved in politics if they feel their partner's mental health is going to be questioned or their opponents are going to make up lies about them having had an affair? Many people would think it's not worth the hassle.

We need to recognise that the politics of personal destruction has no place in public life. And that means we need to see McBride and Guido for what they are: two sides of the same coin.


Paul Walter said...

Come off it. There is a major difference between someone who is paid over £100,000 by the taxpayer using their work time to send such emails on government computers using government networks (i.e McBride) and someone using their own little soapbox to exercise their right to free speech - even if they are fed titbits by whoever (i.e Guido). I agree that Guido etc are peddling the same thing from their own side (and crucially they are a damned sight better and clever at doing it!!!), but they are not civil servants. That really makes a world of difference.

Bernard Salmon said...

Paul, I'm not saying there's no difference between Guido and McBride - as you rightly point out, such things are highly inappropriate for a public servant - but it is important to recognise that they do indulge in similar tactics.

Manfarang said...

Of course the Tory Party would never smear anyone.They leave that task to their newspapers.

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