I see that the council's draft 'Blogging protocol' has now been distributed in draft in advance of it being discussed in committee later this week.
Until today, I hadn't seen anything in writing and as I previously insisted it was a subject for discussion only. Unfortunately, a recent spate of rather crude 'political blogging' has accelerated its urgency and now we have a document which I'm sure the public will soon be reading with some interest.
From where I sit, it's an excellent piece of work which draws on both legal opinion and the councillors' code of conduct, to offer sensible guidelines on one's dual responsibilities as both councillor and 'Blogger' under the law.
What's particularly interesting is the personal responsibility that any Blogger holds for the publishing of anonymous comments, which may be reasonably considered either malicious or defamatory or both. It clearly sets out the legal hazards, risks and the remedies and as a reference document, will, I'm sure prove invaluable to councillors and anonymous bloggers alike.
There's never been any suggestion that I'm aware of, that councillors shouldn't 'Blog'. Rather, with one of two individuals clearly going 'over-the-top' of late with wild allegations and equally wild and inflamatory language, a reference work on the subject and its conduct is very welcome indeed!
It's just a little sad that we need one rather than exercising the more reasonable standards of common sense and courtesy that should remain an unspoken fact of public life!