Where’s Ben Duncan’s blog gone?

Ben Duncan's absent blogI know that Ben Duncan and his other Green Party colleagues care keenly about openness, honesty and transparency. They’re right. It’s the lifeblood of politics.

That’s why I was terribly worried to hear that Ben Duncan’s blog had disappeared from blogland in the past few days. I’m a regular reader of Ben’s blog and am often amused and enlightened by his posts. Why shouldn’t I be? Ben might be a Green councillor but I often agree with what he has to say: Labour and Green have plenty in common in Brighton!

So, I was seriously concerned to hear a rumour that his blog had been shut down because the Green Party folk are concerned he’s ‘off message’. I can’t believe that they would silence Ben because they’re worried that his views are damaging their leader Caroline Lucas. Ben said on Twitter: “Down for bit… a new bigger, better, website looms on the horizon.”

In the interests of blogger solidarity I’m pleased to pose a few questions to Ben. His answers will put all us Brighton bloggers, who value open political discourse, at ease that he hasn’t been knobbled. Here’s hoping he’s back in no time!

My questions:

– When will your blog/website be back?

– Are you moving your blog to a new platform?

– Was your blog’s deletion required or suggested by the Green Party or Caroline Lucas? (Let’s face it, you love being controversial!)

– When it returns, as you’ve promised on Twitter, will your blog have all the previous content as before?

– When your blog returns, will you be in charge as before or will you have to clear posts with Green Party colleagues?

5 Responses to Where’s Ben Duncan’s blog gone?

  1. Ben Duncan says:

    Hi Dan

    Thanks for your kind words about my contributions to the blogosphere – rest assured, my decision to stop publishing it won’t mean I’m absent from blogland for long. I’m looking forward to posting to http://www.benduncan.org as soon as the site’s up and ready.

    In response to your specific questions:

    – When will your blog/website be back?

    Soon – in the next week or so, I hope, although it won’t be quite the same, of course. The new site will be much more electorally focused: it will be a candidate website, and will be much more centred on talking about polcy and campaigning issues, as seems appropriate for a candidate in a General Election! The aim is to have it all up and running by the time Gord-help-us Gordon fires the starting gun on the election. I’ll let you know when it’s live.

    – Are you moving your blog to a new platform?

    Yes. I feel it’s inappropriate, in an election period, for me to use a comms platform provided by Google. It would be a campaign donation, in kind at least – hence the move to a locally published site and blogging platform run entirely by the local Green Party, and using Open Source Software.

    – Was your blog’s deletion required or suggested by the Green Party or Caroline Lucas? (Let’s face it, you love being controversial!)

    No!

    – When it returns, as you’ve promised on Twitter, will your blog have all the previous content as before?

    My blog posts are daily commentaries – they necessarily become historical once a new one is published! There are no plans for me to carry an archive of my historical mutterings on http://www.benduncan.org – after all they were written for a different site, with different objectives – but if you or any of your readers are really interested they are all at http://bensarchivedposts.blogspot.com

    – When your blog returns, will you be in charge as before or will you have to clear posts with Green Party colleagues?

    I’ll be mostly in charge – though not entirely as it won’t all be about me. Rather, http://www.benduncan.org will be a campaigning website with details of the activities and policies of the Green Party locally and nationally, as I think is entirely appropriate for a website promoting a General Election candidate standing on a party platform.

    It’ll have a broader scope than just my musings – though they’ll be there and I’ll be responsible for producing and publishing them. There’s a legal aspect to all this too: electoral law means, in a sense, my election agent will be responsible for everything on the site too. There will therefore have to be a system in place for making sure all the right buttons of transparency and accountability are ticked and that the site doesn’t say or do anything which could breach electoral law.

  2. Pingback: Disappearance of Kemptown Ben’s blog sparks speculation « Brighton and Hove News

  3. dw says:

    Ben,

    Glad to hear you haven’t been axed!

    I must also apologise: your comment has languished overnight in my blog’s comment spam filter. Otherwise I would, of course, have published your very full and open respose sooner.

    I knew you wouldn’t disappoint. As several folk said to me yesterday: you would have been a loss to Brighton political blogland. Thank goodness you’re not going anywhere.

    Cheers,

    dw

  4. Finn says:

    hmmm, sure it’s disappearance isn’t something to do with this http://liberalengland.blogspot.com/search?q=ben+duncan
    The Green Party is paranoid about divisions and flaky candidates, and consequently trying to silence and secretly remove PPCs who have eccentric or alternative views. http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:BBxQuAme1oEJ:sarahgoldsmith.wordpress.com/+sarahgoldsmith+wordpress&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk
    It’s not just Ben’s Blog that has disappeared; any reference to the Green Party’s Torbay/South Devon PPC has disappeared after she was featured in the press as a witch http://punkscientist.blogspot.com/2010/01/green-party-parliamentary-candidate-for.html

  5. Good on you Ben for responding unequivocally. I wish you the best of luck in your campaign.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of your company name or keyword spam.