Blears sackee nothing to do with TheyWorkForYou
Civil servant reveals paper-less trail of doom
The civil servant sacked for being slightly rude about Hazel Blears did not post any comment on TheyWorkForYou: she only used the site to find Blears' personal website.
Lisa Greenwood used Google to find a contact for Hazel Blears. This took her to Hazel Blears' page on TheyWorkForYou, and from there she clicked through to Blears' official site. Once on that site, she clicked on a "contact me" button, which generated a mail from her work email account. She then wrote the message which got her sacked.
In a posting to the MySociety public list last night, Tom Steinberg reproduced an email from Greenwood:
I googled Hazel Blears and found the website 'they work for you' and it said to contact Hazel Blears click on the following link http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/hazel_blears/salford I then clicked on her personal webpage that said 'contact me'. You will have to contact the DCFS for them to explain their interception.
After this, Greenwood's boss presumably took over to pursue disciplinary action. The civil service code is strict on non-political use of work email or other facilities. And calling Hazel Blears "a disgrace" could be construed as a political statement. ®
Code of conduct
There is a lot of banging on from us non-lawyer types about how she broke the rules of her contract. The contract itself might break her European Rights. Her employer may well have broken the disciplanry laws.
I'm not denying it was a bit stupid to send the email from a works address but a lack of information surrounding the whole affair means we should not be so quick to agree the woman should have been sacked.
Additionally was it REALLY a political statement? Who gets to decide this? Politicians are not above the law as they have recently found out. I'll be interested to see what the real outcome of this is.
"There's your problem. For those completely wedded to leftist views, the middle of the road appears to be way over by the curb."
Ever so-slightly right of center is still right of centre and still right-wing. Tory wets, for example, are centrist _and_ rightist. Your problem is not really understanding the English language.
"New Labour is as socialist as old Labour, they just aren't open about it. "
No. No it isn't. It has retained some leftist policies and introduced some rightist policies. Perhaps, to pick one example, you think introducing private finance into state run industries is leftist.
You see, it isn't "as socialist as old Labour". It is less socialist.
"Similarly, many papers and other news outlets tend to regard themselves as balanced because their journalists are predominately leftist and see, as you do, the middle of the road as well over to the left."
Ah, so its the rank-and-file journalists - and not the managers, editors, executives, directors, trustees or shareholders - who decide policy is it?
"This is one reason why mainstream media news is losing readers/viewers"
It's the internet, stupid. News and tits are now free.
"especially in the USA, but also here. The general population, not the media's liberal elite, define the middle of the road."
Again. You don't know what the word liberal means, so don't use it.
Now, if the Telegraph is the only right-wing newspaper and all the other are left-wing, roughly 800,000 people in this country buy a right-wing rag, and millions upon millions buy left-wing rags.
So the general populace itself is left-wing and the middle of the road is way off to the left?
"The Times, The Financial Times, The Mail, The Express, The Sun ... perhaps you'ld like to explain how these papers are in any way leftist. The Sun supports New Labour you say? Yes, and they're both slightly right of centre."
There's your problem. For those completely wedded to leftist views, the middle of the road appears to be way over by the curb. New Labour is as socialist as old Labour, they just aren't open about it. A decade of smiley Blair distracting the voters while Brown raises taxes by stealth has not made Labour centrist. Now that the smile has gone, it is easier to see where they are coming from, but they were never "New" in anything but presentation.
Similarly, many papers and other news outlets tend to regard themselves as balanced because their journalists are predominately leftist and see, as you do, the middle of the road as well over to the left. This is one reason why mainstream media news is losing readers/viewers, especially in the USA, but also here. The general population, not the media's liberal elite, define the middle of the road.