I have been resisting commenting on this issue for some time now with the hope that the controller of the PLP site and its connected blog would mature in their postings. So far I have not seen any indication of that being the case.
The official site of the Party should be treated with the dignity that a Party with as illustrious past as the PLP has, not as some crass and pathetic propaganda machine.
I have no issue with the PLP site using Government press releases concerning progress under a PLP Government, but I am constantly disappointed that these same government press releases seem unaccessible from the actual Government website. This is bound to raise questions about the blurring of lines between Party and the State, as indeed it already has.
I have not been impressed with the level of argument presented by its write, especially in reference to non-aligned blogs in the blogosphere. An example of this is the recent post ‘UBP’s Online Partisans Trash Dame Lois‘ where it takes issue with a critic on the blog Bermuda Is Another World (this thread).
Now, I don’t at all agree with the sentiments of the post on the BIAW thread, as I think it has a very mistaken understanding of the role Lois Browne-Evans had in the development of modern Bermuda. This poster was in fact attacked by others on that site pretty much along that line. But was this really something worthy of the official PLP site to focus on? And is its criticism of that post valid?
I personally don’t think that the official PLP site should be wasting its time on such petty issues as that one in the blogosphere; had the post been on an official UBP website, then yes, that would have been valid. But although the BIAW site is most likely not frequented (or rather posted on) by pro-PLPers, it is not accurate to then describe it as being a UBP partisan site. Unless it can be proven that the blog is actually a front for the UBP (and I’m not sure how one would do that), it just doesn’t make sense to focus on it.
Similarly the tactic can be reversed back onto the PLP. A poster on this site or another who appears to be anti-UBP could similarly be attacked by the UBP and a call be put out to Dr. Brown to condemn such comments by such a person. There are a few individuals on the blogosphere for whom this could be applicable. Ultimately it comes across as a really stupid and hypocritical approach and not one befitting the official PLP site.
There is also a constant complaint that the official PLP site actively censors comments on that site, so much so that in general people have ceased to bother commenting on it altogether. This is not acceptable. The only valid censorship that should be practised is censoring obscene language and personal attacks. The Party should be able to engage in critics of the Party in a constructive manner through dialouge, not censorship. If it is feeling it necessary to resort to censoring out all opinions critical of Party posts then that implies that it cannot argue against them. The Party is composed of many intelligent people – I cannot accept that it is incapable of responding to criticism constructively.
The use of such censorship only leads to the conclusion that the Party is incapable of validly defending its position. If the Party is unable to defend its position then it needs to rethink its position and not ostrich-like ignore the criticism of it.
The Progressive Minds blog, the ‘official’ site of the PLP Youth Wing has been functionally dead since the 2007 election. There have been some flurries of activity there but nothing sustained. I cannot speak for other former members of the Youth Wing but I myself grew disgusted with the abuse of that site in the run up to the election where for all intensive purposes the site was hijacked by elements other than the Youth Wing and far from being the site for active critical discussion it became just one more tool in a cynical and classless election campaign. As far as I am concerned it ceased being the blog of the Progressive Minds around November 2007 and while I initially hoped that the post-election blog would revert back to PM control for various reasons this has not occurred. Attempts to control discussion beyond simple ‘good’ blogging etiquette doom discourse and constructive creative thought. This ultimately leads to disillussionment and then disaster for the Party as the necessary correction of wrong policies through internal and open criticism cannot occur and leads to blunder after blunder.
The cynical manipulation of discussion and information, as well as the low quality of critical thought and presentation that the ‘official’ sites of the PLP currently offer are not befitting of the Party, nor are they representative of it. Not only can the PLP do better, it should be much better.
I hope that other PLPers, and even non-PLPers can offer their constructive advice on how the PLP sites could be improved.