>Treatment of Ellie Gellard a warning to us all

>Before I start I should perhaps declare an interest. Last Thursday, before she was front page news, I met Ellie Gellard (known to the twitterati as @BevaniteEllie). We had been asked by our respective parties to chat with Adam Boulton about Cameron’s new Self Preservation Society or whatever it was called. Articulate and interesting on air (even if I disagreed,) Ellie was also pleasent company in our brief interactions off air.

Yesterday I was amazed as the right wing blogosphere exploded into a snarling, spitting mass accusing her of hypocrisy and worse. ‘Person in politics in change of opinion shocker’. Terrible isn’t it? How dare someone in politics give anyone a second a chance? Brown probably did need to go 2 years ago, and now it’s probably right for the party to pull together, however hopeless their cause. In truth, the party could have picked nobody better to demonstrate the change of opinion within Labour.

The sneering personal attacks from Tory Bear and Iain Dale were crude and unecessary. I’m sure they have legitemately altered their opinions many times. Ellie has found herself on the front of The Times and The Telegraph, strung up because she dared to give an opinion and then have a different one based on experience. I personally would have been disappointed if Labour HQ had vetted her because she once spoke out. If anyone that had ever come out against Brown was not allowed to be a part of Labour election events they would have the smallest campaign team in history.

What worries me most is that a blog post long placed in the archive can be so ruthlessly used against someone. The blogosphere thrives because people can give interesting and different opinions that would normally not get heard. If bloggers are worried that every posted word can be twisted against them years down the line political blogs will become as dull as the mainstream media, with every one toeing the party line.

Whatever you think of Ellie Gellard’s politics or of her personally, we should all be very worried about what yesterday signifies.


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