Only last month, after his singularly unpleasant hatchet job on the memory of former Labour leader Michael Foot, I found adversely on the behaviour of one Chris Mounsey, whose blog was at the time called Devil’s Kitchen. Mounsey has since enjoyed his less than fifteen minutes of fame: as leader of the Libertarian Party, he secured an appearance yesterday on the Beeb’s Daily Politics, only to come up short under the probing of Andrew “Brillo Pad” Neil.
And the result has been a personal conversion of almost Damascene proportions, as Mounsey has ditched Devil’s Kitchen, complete with its intemperate and foul mouthed ranting, in favour of a new style. Mounsey refers to his older product as that of his “ruder sibling”, which is weapons grade drivel: he wrote it, so should have no problem owning up to it, without dressing it up in any way.
Did he deserve the reception he got from Neil? Of course he did, and thereby lies the all too familiar problem for much of the blogosphere, particularly the right leaning and libertarian part: much of the response to Mounsey’s skewering has been laughably defensive whining. It’s all held to be the fault of Neil (so he gets plenty of personal abuse, which will have zero effect as he’s heard it all several times before), or the Beeb, or the “MSM” generally. But it isn’t.
The sweary and abusive blog posts that earned Mounsey his skewering had only one author, and it wasn’t Andrew Neil, or anyone else in the “MSM”. And this puerile defensiveness has been seen elsewhere in the recent past: when the Maily Telegraph ran a less than totally laudatory article about Paul Staines, who blogs under the alias of Guido Fawkes, the response from Staines’ fans was as if there had been a desecration of some minor deity. And it was the same kind of outrage that greeted John Ward (who authors The Slog) when he fingered Staines more recently.
But no-one seems to have a problem with bloggers calling out politicians, journalists, slebs and hangers on. This is supposedly legitimate behaviour. It is only when those same bloggers are held to account that everything becomes so unfair. Well, I have news for you all: the world is unfair. You want to dish it out, then learn that someone out there might send some, er, stuff back over the fence.If you can’t stand the heat ...