This entry was posted on
Saturday, December 20th, 2008 at
10:30 pm and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
Boris Watch – The Ever So ‘Independent’ LondonUnlocked.org: Also, there’s only one registered user – ‘Editor’ – who has no email address, there are few or no comments, and who’s this Maurice Bennett? …. So there we are, LondonUnlocked.org is funded and supported by a wealthy Conservative donor (to the tune of at least £500k) with business interests a lot of shops, presumably including some in central London. As far as I can see they don’t mention the Conservative connection *anywhere*, although I’m open to correction. Personally, I think they’ve got some explaining to do.
But… but… but… surely we’ve been told time and again by independent right-wing bloggers that blogs don’t cost money… and if blogs don’t cost money, then surely there can’t be Tory money behind any independent right-wing bloggers. It’s simple logic, people.
Details about clear party-political influence/affiliation do appear to be denied and hidden rather than declared and highlighted on the London Unlocked site. The author(s)/publisher(s) behind it should probably try to explain just what is going on over there.
UPDATE (24 Dec) – I asked a question and actually got an answer instead of feigned outrage and/or personal abuse. If it’s a right-wing website, the author has lost their technical manual. Full text from that answer appears below the fold.
[—– fold ——]
>> —– Original Message —–>> From: “LondonUnlocked”>> To: Tim Ireland>>>>>> Hi Tim,>>>> Thanks for your message.>>>> Just to make things clear, LondonUnlocked is an independent site. It>> has been from the outset.>>>> I think that if you look over the past posts that have appeared on the>> different incarnations of the site, you’ll find that we have been>> balanced in our views, and have offered a mix of criticism and support>> to whomever happened to be in power at the time, be it Ken Livingstone>> or Boris Johnson. You might be interested to know that whilst we held>> back from a fully-fledged endorsement at the last mayoral election, we>> backed the transport priorities of the Lib Dem candidate, Brian>> Paddick.>>>> I presume that your main point is that as Maurice Bennett funded the>> set-up and maintenance of the site (and has donated to the Tories in>> the past) that we are a Tory ‘sleeper’ site, or something similar.>> Well, that simply is not the case. What MB does with his own time, and>> with his own money has no impact on the site or its editorial direction>> whatsoever. If you read the other ‘about’ pages on the site you’ll see>> that he funded a design competition ‘A Car Free London’>> ( http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_NDTNSG>> ) back in 1999, and has a long-standing interest in>> transport in London. Even with that competition, which he gave to the>> Architecture Foundation to run, he was hands off.>>>> I’d like to think that the web offers the opportunity for people to put>> their views out there, and that the sheer diversity of opinion>> available allows the reader to make their own minds up about which>> sources they trust/ignore/agree, or have a healthy discussion with.>> We’ve never been anything but honest about who the site is funded by,>> but as our posts don’t lean politically one way or the other (at least>> consistently!), I feel that putting something on the front-page about>> MB’s political affiliations would be both out of place and unnecessary.>> I would though be happy to amend the about page for clarity’s sake.>>>> Our objective since LU started was to promote policies which would de->> congest London. I’d argue that’s both the Mayor’s and TfL’s remit too,>> but seeing that both of those bodies are good at self promotion, we>> sometimes err towards the projects which don’t get mentioned elsewhere.>> That’s the beauty of being a blog in a big world wide web. We>> supplement that service with daily news links, and occasional>> editorials praising and criticising our elected (and unelected) leaders>> in their efforts to make that happen. We use a wide range of sources,>> and try to be fair and balanced within the ‘get London moving’ remit.>> Sometimes we probably do better than others at this, and sometimes we>> probably fail, but we do our best.>>>> I hope that (far lengther than I set it out to be) reply answers any>> questions or concerns that you had? I’m always happy to continue this>> dialogue or to see any suggestions which you might have – or even any>> London transport blogs which you might want to run!>>>> Otherwise, thanks for getting in touch.>>>> Simon