Friday, 13 April 2012

A message for Argus journalists and Tory MPs

I don't expect this post to get much traffic - so I'll keep it short: but I hope it is read by two sets of people I know read my humble 'blog, at least from time to time!

Increasingly, the once-great paper of record for our city, and a few Tory MPs, have turned to this 'blog in the hope of finding out the opinion of the Green Party of Brighton and Hove, or of Brighton and Hove City Council, on matters of the day.

Wednesday's Argus provides a case in point: it carried an article about a potentially-inflammatory meeting about Travellers being held tonight.

Personally, I hope everyone there behaves with decorum. I met police earlier this week to discuss their response to the meeting, and have been assured that officers will be present - and if anyone crosses the line of criminality it will be dealt with.

But that's not the point: Tory MP Mike Weatherley seemed to think my views were in some way shared by others. His quotes talked of the views of "Green councillors..." (ie more than one). Now my views may or may not be shared by other Green councillors - but my 'blog certainly said no such thing.

Now I know we keep hearing that literacy standards are falling, but I'm sure Mike can read - and you certainly can't be a newspaper reporter without basic literacy skills - so I can only assume that the disclaimer on this 'blog is being deliberately ignored to make mischief.

I clearly state (eyes right!):

I am a member of both Brighton and Hove City Council and Sussex Police Authority, the Green Party's Home Affairs speaker.

But the views represented here are, unless directly attributed, entirely my own - and not those of either authority, The Green Party, or the Green Group of councillors.

Honestly, the idea that somehow I speak for any other Green Party councillors than myself is very flattering but it's completely wrong. So please stop it! If you want to hear the views of the Green Party of Brighton and Hove, visit the party's website. If you're a journalist, call the party's press officer, don't just lazily quote from this 'blog! If you must (I realise sometimes news is hard to come by) then read and recall the disclaimer: I'm proud of my views, but they are just that: my own views!

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