Sunday, 15 March 2009

Off Topic Question of the Day

Now why would someone sign up as a follower of your blog only to then give you a massive, highly personalised possibly libellous slagging off over on theirs?


Lucky Col said...
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Andy said...

Firstly I don't see Nottingham City Council as being synonymous with the city of Nottingham itself. I like Nottingham, I've lived here for 20 years and unlike many I've actually spent a good part of that time doing my best to make it better and give something back. And I'm not talking about blogging here either.

In my working life I've raised probably in the region of about £1.5m for Nottingham people who are vulnerable or in poverty. I also managed a team of people in the same line of work which raised about £2m/yr and I left that team in far better shape than I found it. I've campaigned, networked and contributed to policy throughout this time, both locally and nationally and yes I do believe that NCC is worse off without me. My reward for that was to be dumped on from a great height by a senior manager with a hatful of hidden agendas, not to mention 2 years of anti depressants.

So yes, damn right I'm bitter and yes that is a big part of my motivation in writing this blog, I actually find it therapeutic.

But a bigger part is that all of this stuff does actually need saying. NCC is dysfunctional, I've worked for them twice and seen it from the inside. What's more I have the organisational knowledge and skills to make that judgement, something I very much doubt that you possess.

If you want to read positive stories about NCC they have a whole communications department which is positively heaving with them. They have a much bigger budget than me as well. Criticising a blogger whose stated aim is to be a CRITIC of NCC for not posting positive stories makes as much sense as critising NCC's spin doctors for not posting kiss and tell stories about Jon Collins (not that I'm implying there are any mind you).

Perhaps you think its ok that NCC has mismanaged DHPs when evictions are going through the roof. Or that NCC's housing benefits department has the worst record for accuracy of benefit calculations in the whole of the East Midlands while at the same time 'forgetting' to inform claimants of their appeal rights. Or that a BNP activist can get himself appointed onto Nottingham City Homes' consultative committees. I don't so I write about it because nobody else seems to be doing so.

As for just rewriting the Evening Post what total bollocks. A big part of my material is from original research including council documents, Freedom of Information requests and correspondence with bodies like the audit commission. One or two people have sent me stuff as well. Yes the EP is a source as well but then its probably the biggest source of local news and I make damn sure I credit and link to their stories so people can make up their own minds about my analysis.

You demand that I write something positive. Here's my counter demand, why don't you write something thats actually useful, constructive or at least rationally argued instead of just mindlessly slagging me off. I think you'll quickly come up against a small problem - that doing this requires little things such as knowledge and ability and I've not seen a lot of evidence of that in your writings so far. It would probably better if you stuck to footie and kebabs.

So no, 'twat' wasn't the best I could do but it served the purpose so why waste effort? Come back when you have a clue sunshine.

Lucky Col said...
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Andy said...

I must have missed the memo that said all blogs/articles/comment had to be objective and unbiased. I'm not trying to be the BBC. There are many writers, bloggers or columnists who have an agenda, examples could be say John Pilger and Melanie Phillips. They are obviously at different ends of the scale, in more ways than one.

The key thing is that if you do have an agenda then don't claim that you haven't. I think I'm pretty open on that front. I also accept an obligation to evidence my claims which I see as an issue of accountability. Thats my way, its my blog and I'll decide what I write about and what angle to take thank you very much. I don't remember writing to you asking for your opinion.

I also think its a bit rich to complain about my alleged faults when you simply launched into a tirade of abuse without even considering any of the issues I've raised. Ok you accuse me of hypocrisy for commenting on NCC's spending on consultants while arguing that they should be prepared to pay a fair price for photographs they use for one of their propaganda campaigns. I think an intelligent person would understand that there is a bit of a mismatch of scale there. Even ignoring that, do you think anybody just gives stff to the council for free? Councils normally buy photos from stock agencies so its not an unreasonable suspicion that the approach to flickr users is merely a cynical attempt to save a small amount of money at the expense of Nottingham photographers. All in all that was a pretty weak attempt at justification for what was otherwise directionless outrage.

It may be that you didn't really understand the issues that I was raising, making you feel a little bit stupid. I understand that sometimes people can overcompensate when that happens causing a disproportionate outburst.

And again Nottingham City Council is not Nottingham. Our council performing badly is not in Nottingham's interests and neither is covering it up or looking the other way.

Lucky Col said...
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Andy said...

"For the record, I would be honoured to contribute a photograph to the Council, for free, but after reading the Flikr message board on the subject, I wouldn't want to take someone's income away."

Oh good thats reassuring. Except your original post claimed that it was hypocritical to argue that people should be paid for their work, thats hardly sitting on the fence. If a picture is good enough to feature in an advert its good enough to command a fee. Suggestions for other alternative benefits in kind in return for usage has fallen on deaf ears. That is barefaced exploitation and I have every right to highlight the fact.

"...but it's the only City Council we've got, and I believe it's unfair that you can slag off thousands of good people doing a fantastic job in difficult circumstances just to make you feel better."

Oh for pity's sake a drunken amoeba could see that isn't what I do here. This is about policy and its delivery by senior management so the numbers of people that could be included in my 'slagging off' would probably amount to tens of individuals, all of whom senior enough to be fair game.Its not about having a go at the little guy, were you at the demo last week in support of social care staff? I was. Perhaps you should write to the unions and tell them that they should stop complaining because NCC "is the only City Council we've got".

And while I'm open and honest enough to admit that part of my motivation is to "make [my]self feel better" as I've pointed out its far from the only point behind this blog. My entire post student working life has been in the public sector and I believe in it passionately. However I believe just as passionately that the public sector must be open and accountable because its taxpayers' money paying for it and democracy loses its meaning when you don't have the information to base your voting decisions on. And again, the odd rant at Jane Todd aside, I don't do 'slagging off' I do evidence based criticism. So your allegation that I am "slagging off thousands of people doing a good job..." is disingenuous on all counts.

I'd suggest its time for you to put up or shut up. If you believe my criticisms of NCC are wrong or unjustified then why not provide a counter analysis explaining why? Thats if you're capable of doing such a thing, rational argument doesn't appear to be your forte on current evidence. At the moment the only person doing any slagging off is you and its a rather nasty personalised form of slagging off to boot. I'd rather keep it about the issues.

Andy said...

Oh well, blog wars appears to be over and done with for now.

He's deleted all his posts but see his last bit of passive aggression here

Of course he could have put it here after all the time he's wasted but then someone might have actually read it...

Andy said...

...and now he's deleted that as well. Some people are no fun.