As readers of this blog will have noticed, there have been many times where councillors, council staff and members of the public have left comments voicing their own opinion, adding additional facts or to simply point or errors or omissions where we get things wrong. We think that is a healthy part of the democratic process, and has really added something to the race this year. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far.
However over the last few days the tone of things has changed somewhat. This mainly started when Johnny did a post regarding the attendance records of councillors. This is all publicly available information, and he provided it without any real commentary.
Councillor Rob Goulden took issue with this, as he has a very valid reason for his absence. This is of course fair enough, and Johnny acknowledged so – and made a suggestion that this information should perhaps be presented with the council’s statistics.
But things rapidly went down hill. A shouting match errupted between several commenters, spearheaded by Rob and Johnny. When I checked the blog comments this evening, it seemed quite a few people had chimed in heaping praise on Rob Goulden. Or so it seemed.
The thing is, it turns out the people supporting Rob Goulden… are Rob Goulden…
We never intended to point out the email addresses or IP addresses that people use when commenting on this blog. Some people work in sensitive jobs (as we can see from some of the email or IP addresses) and we respect that. However, we think that when a sitting councillor is going out and deliberately trying to decieve the voting public, exposing that is a pretty reasonable thing to do.
Rob, we feel for your loss and think your lack of attendance at council meetings is more than justified. But your behavour certainly isn’t.
[Update: Heh, we can feel a complaint to the police coming on…]