I suggested it might be the case in an earlier post but in today's Sunday Times : "The British government decided it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal."
Are we surprised if it's true? Probably not and Gordon Brown, will I'm sure have more questions to answer when he returns from his moral-boosting trip to Afghanistan.
Here in Thanet, the so-called Blog wars appear to be becoming even more personal and nasty and from looking at some of the exchanges, I do rather wonder why we bother at times?
From my own experience and having chatted to Tony Flaig and Michael Child recently, it's clear that the majority of offensive comments are left by a group of around six anonymous people; that's half a dozen out of the entire population of Thanet. If you add to these the ones that sign their comments and who are equally paranoid, offensive or disturbed, you can probably find another six or so who regularly trawl the popular blog sites with a visible trend; one of the most offensive individuals being online between the hours of midnight and 2am.
It's a tiny percentage of our local population responsible for delivering a disproportionate level of personal offense and in their own way should be considered as 'grown-up' versions of the teenagers who spray graffiti on toilet walls across the island.
As you are reading this, you are probably one of around 200 people who regularly visit the local Blogs. Most people in Thanet wouldn't have a clue what a Blog is either!
So perhaps we should step back a little and put Blogging in context. It's a useful means of self-expression and a channel for local news distribution. Statistically, it probably attracts the same number of cranks and restless trouble-makers as any gathering of people in the real-world. Blogs are given greater emphasis than they deserve, my own included, by local papers desperate for stories; any stories, true or false, given their own limited and shrinking resources. Most busy people haven't the time, interest or inclination to read our online ramblings and most really don't care what we have to say anyway.
And finally, the people that I talk to who do visit the weblogs are increasingly repelled by the offensive language and personal remarks that they read on some Blogs that vigorously champion the so-called right of "Free speech." What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to rather than defamatory language and personal abuse disguised as free speech! In the end, while I'm sure that a tiny minority will continue to be attracted by some weblogs, much like a child might enjoy the sport of poking a caged animal with a stick, others will simply recognise their attraction to unhappy individuals who express the darker and more unpleasant side of human nature.