Thursday, January 04, 2007

First threat to Blogpower

Things had been going swimmingly but into it has swum trouble.

An issue has arisen which we had desperately hoped would not arise – the dragging of the Blogpower initiative into politics. We in no way endorse ANY view, political or religious of any kind. We are merely a co-operative, a confederation for mutual support. At any time there are going to be blogs on that list, by its very free nature, which we violently disagree with and we have every right to do as we wish on our own sites to deal with them – block them, whatever.

Blogpower is above politics and has nothing whatever to do with that process. Ian draws our attention to Spicy Cauldron, who has an interesting formulation:

"The inclusion of sites in this list does not mean I endorse their opinions. Neither does it mean they endorse mine. We simply agree that something has to be done to address the domination of the blogosphere by just a few monolithic blogs."

To this end we have hastily drafted a Manifesto which we would like, in our recently established tradition, to open to your comment and/or amendment:

"We, the members of Blogpower, form a co-operative based on our shared goal of challenging the domination of the blogosphere by just a few monolithic blogs. We are resolutely non-monolithic, and regularly disagree strongly amongst ourselves. We accept that some readers may find some of the opinions expressed by Blogpower members objectionable, but ask that we not be judged collectively: any opinion expressed belongs solely to the poster. We uphold the principle of free speech. You are cordially invited to express your own views in the comment thread to any post. Membership of Blogpower is open to anyone, regardless of nationality, sexual orientation, political belief, party affiliation, religious outlook, or any other factors not specified here. Membership requires only that the Blogpower manifesto, including this amendment, be accepted at least in spirit."

Further to this, we’re well aware that some groups are attempting to turn us into a pro this or pro that group. Again, we are not a group. We are individuals who have decided to help each other out. Let's let cool heads prevail for now until we have made our stance clear, then make your decision, yea or nay. But give this initiative, which has taken quite some work from many people to get up, a chance first.

We invite your comments.


Tom Paine said...

I buy into that, James. Can you tell us more about this "threat?"

ThunderDragon said...

I wholeheartedly support that manifesto. Diversity of beliefs is what makes life in general interesting, and especially blogging, interesting.

Disagreement is the spice of life!

Matt M said...

I have to admit that at least one of the blogs on the blog-roll caused a bit of soul-searching on my part. But, blogpower is about trying to raise awareness of voices which might otherwise be overlooked, and this means accepting the views of those we disagree with, even find distasteful.

I'll happily link to any blog which wants part of blogpower, and rely on the intelligence of readers to understand the differences between us.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I have become quite worried about it today and was going to email you about it. I support the manifesto but don't quite know what to do now. Maybe we need to consider the nature of freedom of speech, which is, surely, that it can only exist inasmuch as you respect others' freedom? Ellee seems to have taken the banner off her site?? I might be speaking prematurely but maybe you will have to consider "approving" blogs as "Blogher" and "Blogs by Women" do? Otherwise some of us could find ourselves chucked out of other blog schemes! I know I am contradicting myself but I am truly worried and confused.

james higham said...

Welshcakes, see the next post please. We will seriously look at our admission procedure, if many others want us to.

The first and foremost thing is not to panic. Not to suddenly create a rush to remove Blogpower banenrs which I believe has started.

The second thing is that we are a true democracy and democracies are a tad slow. We need to hear our members opinions but we're all busy with our own work and blog as well.

Let's make our views known here and then make our decision. [The other comments above duly noted.]

Daily Referendum said...

Dear Blogpower contributors,

I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blogs, it has been a pleasure to get to know you through your posts. It is a great shame to have to leave blogpower just as it is doing so well, but I cannot in good conscience remain a member of a co-operative that includes members or supporters of the BNP. Some will say I’m being small minded, I agree with the principle of freedom of speech but not when it incites racial hatred. To you who believe me small minded I say: Not in my name.
By having these BNP supporters in my side bar, disclaimer or not, it shows to the visitors of my blog that I accept or tolerate the BNP’s views - I do not.

Good luck in the future.

I will continue to visit the blogs that don’t turn my stomach.

Best Regards

Daily Referendum

youdontknowme said...

While I am a supporter of the BNP I do not link to the BNP and while I am a supporter of the BNP I do not support all their policies. For instance I do not support their stance on abortion.

You say that there is racial hatred in the BNP. I don't believe there is but lets say there is for the sake of argument. Have I shown any racial hatred on my blog? Have I shown hatred for anyone except the people that are governing us?

youdontknowme said...

btw it seems that I am the only one that truly supports free speech. Take my blogroll as an example. Before I joined blogpower I only had blogs on my list that won the blog of the week or blog of the month.

Some of the ones that have become blog of the month/week are anti BNP blogs or blogs that are at the opposite end of the political spectrum. These are ellee seymour and martine martin and possibly others.

james higham said...

Administrative note:

This discussion has now moved on to the next post. So we don't have two discussions running, will you post your comment on the next post instead?

[Steve, if you have withdrawn, you'll need to contact Ian to remove the link.]

Toque said...


You keep reiterating that this issue is something to do with 'free speech'. It isn't.

Nobody is threatening to close down your blog, or saying that you don't have a right to hold the opinions that you do - it's just that some people don't want to be associated with you.

Do you get the difference?

A strong advocate of free speech such as yourself ought to understand freedom of association, and, conversely, the equally important freedom not to associate. Neither of these freedoms imposes upon your right to free speech.