Can I just begin by saying that my blog will be covering other subjects in addition to Councillor Terry Kelly. Normal service will be resumed and he will be nothing more than an occasional update. However I find his latest post rather alarming and think a further post might be the best way to tackle it. Unusually for me I am actually being totally serious here.
'I would compare most of them (bloggers critical of TK) with people who, years ago before blogging, used to get their kicks by writing anonymous poison pen letters particularly to vulnerable people, ( someone is watching you type of thing ) I suppose though that blogging provides a kind of safety valve for them, who knows what some of them might get up to if they couldn't take out their frustrations in this way. I wonder if the figures for certain kinds of crime have dropped since the advent of blogging?'
As with most of Mr Kelly's other assertions he does not give examples or explain what leads him to think this way.
'I, and now, to a lesser extent my family, still get sent horrible stuff, mainly racist, lurid and threatening because some folk don't like my opinions and blogging has liberated them.'
He does suggest that his readers google him to see the blogs indulging in this sort of behaviour. I have done so and whilst I've certainly found some colourful language and fair bit of ridicule I have been unable to find any examples of racism or threats. This maybe down to my poor computer skills than anything else, so if any of you have any luck do enlighten me.
What does concern me is that not only my blog but several others critical of Councillor Kelly do turn up. Whilst I can understand why he does not wish to give the blogs making racist remarks and threats any further publicity I am very worried that people may think he is referring to me and several other perfectly reasonable bloggers. For that reason I find his failure to make clear that he was not referring to me and several others irresponsible to say the least.
I am not for a moment suggesting that this is a deliberate smear or attempt to intimidate and silence his critics on Councillor Kelly's part but the effects may well be similar. In particular racism arouses strong feelings and an accusation of this nature could have very severe consequences for the accused. I freely admit that I am a cheeky cow and am happy to take the consequences on that score, however I don't think that includes being lumped in with racists and people making threats or having my personal safety jeopardised, albeit indirectly.
My suggestion to Terry Kelly would be to report all threats to the Police and at the very least, amend his post to make clear who he isn't referring to. As it stands it looks like everyone who appears in a google search for him is being tarred with the same brush.