"Cllr. Moores has confirmed there is a proposed policy on local blogs. I think he should publish his draft at the earliest opportunity. This will allow for the widest possible consultation. By keeping the plans secret for as long as possible, he is limiting debate on a matter of legitimate public interest."
He rebuts my statement:
"This is, I'm afraid the usual left wing rhetoric I have come to expect from Cllr Nottingham's weblog, straying from the facts and reflecting the political style of the Labour Party nationally.
First there's no tangible policy on a Blogs protocol that I'm aware of at present, even a draft. It's the same discussion that I'm sure he has shared,like me, with the monitoring officer on several occasions."
I have made the point to Simon previously that I try to reference everything I put on this blog, and make it clear when it is my opinion and when it is a fact. So what's the source of my statement that Simon Moores has confirmed the policy paper on blogs? Unsurprisingly, it is Simon Moores himself.
Have a look at the comments on my blog 2 weeks ago on 14th July, Simon Moores says:
"Let's be clear Mark. The Blogs protocol discussion comes from the Cheif Executive at TDC and is not some kind of conspiracy to "Close Down" Labour Blogs.
You know as well as I do that the council has been dismayed by some of the inflamatory and insulting language used freely on Blogs published by several individuals. If you were party to the same discussions as me, you'll also know that it's a matter of responsible self expression in an adult manner which treats others with respect; quite the opposite of Derek Draper's example.
I signed-up to that principle, adding on occasions the occasional 'tongue in cheek' remark in good humour. I would encourage you and your colleagues to do the same."
Simon Moores today says:
First there's no tangible policy on a Blogs protocol that I'm aware of at present, even a draft.
Simon Moores 2 weeks ago says 3 things:
1. That he is involved in a blog protocol discussion.
2. He is in discussions about the protocol that exclude Labour representatives.
3. That he has signed up to the protocol and made an amendment.
So there is a written protocol on councillors blogging, Simon Moores has seen it and amended it.
Now I am placed in a quandry. Was Simon Moores telling the truth on 14th July? Or is he telling the truth today?
Thankfully I have further sources who confirm that Simon was telling the truth on 14th July, and not today.
Now if I was a Conservative Thanet District Councillor I would await that documentation, and issue to the Standards Committee on several counts against Simon Moores. However, I'm not a Thanet Conservative, I'm Thanet Labour so I am just going to write a blog and not spend several thousand pounds of taxpayers money to make the same point. Another great benefit of councillors blogging that Simon wants to stop. Quick rebuttal.
What I would like from Simon Moores is a written apology. This is not the first time he has misrepresented me. I have let it go in the past, but it is becoming a habit. I hope he will do the honourable thing promptly without any quibbling.
He should also withdraw from any further discussions on the blogging protocol as he has demonstrated the biased approach he will take to secure Conservative Party advantage.