So, farewell, then, Tom Harris. He has decided to give his blog the bum's rush.
Some of you will remember that I used to get on with Tom, too. I even had my banner on his blog and did a guest post. I asked for the banner to be removed, and ceased to comment for one reason, and one reason only; his comments policy, in my opinion, was not commensurate with the concept of free speech. Tom regularly trashed comments that were critical of Labour, or of particular Labour politicians. I am not talking about abuse here, but even factual rebuttals of some of his assertions about the merits of his colleagues were met with the ban stick. And it was not just me that got banned. Fair enough, it was his blog, but having done that, he became an anti-blogger - the dark, subverted mirror image of all that is good about the blogosphere. The blog that purports to be something it is not, and that is a platform for the pursuit of truth in its purest form, which is the ill-considered truth, the unvarnished truth and the whole truth and the inconvenient truth.
Poor Tom was caught between a rock and a hard place. He wanted, genuinely, to be frank and honest. He is frank and honest. What failed him, ultimately was his need to please his masters in the Labour Party. Some will think that the blog cost him a cabinet post. He would in my opinion, have been a good Minister of State. Unfortunately, he was sucked into the political system (how could he not be) that demands party loyalty above conscience. I have rarely visited his blog in recent months, but he seemed to be exercised about a few rather petty political issues that were only of interest to politicians. His loyalty to the Party and his colleagues has been a tedius leitmotiv that has extended to a sin of omission that the BBC would be proud of, but has had the effect of denying us what could have been a genuine link between the rulers and the ruled.
And here, just for Tom, is a Genesis track I know he will like. Cheers Tom.