Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ahh bless... look at the children!

I'm confused. Whilst I personally think that Lord Ashcroft taking over more than a 50% share in ConservativeHome is a bad thing for ConHome simply because it has prided itself as independent of CCHQ and this funding will always make that position questionable.*

However, what I don't understand is this mass resignation from answering a daily tracking poll question on PoliticsHome - which Ashcroft also now owns part of. Apparently a really bloody stupidly rich Tory buying a stake in the site previously wholly owned by a really bloody rich Tory is just a step too far dammit!

Now, I could understand this, perhaps, if PoliticsHome was in anyway a site that contained masses of its own original content, but it isn't. If, for example, ConservativeHome had this panel from across the spectrum and they all resigned I could understand that too - as already mentioned, I think ConservativeHome's independence from CCHQ will be forever questioned now.

Iain Dale has called the reaction the very worst kind of gesture politics. I would go further and say rather than it being gesture politics, it's exactly the sort of political nerdery masquerading as some sort of principled stand that normal people - in other words, not political nerds - think is childish. Although that assumes that normal people are even paying attention, which to be fair they aren't.

I guess it makes those resigning all feel fluffy inside though as they take a stand against the evil and terrible news aggregation site that has such Internet reach and depth. Frankly I think it's brilliant to see that they've made a principled distinction between an owner that is filthy rich and one that is filthy-filthy rich. I wish I had that sort of courage and conviction!

* Note I say 'questionable' because it is not necessarily true that the editorial policy will be compromised. Only a complete idiot would deploy such circumstantial arguments as factual realities.

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