Censored by Power 2010?

Note to readers: this post needs to be read in conjunction with the comments, including a denial of censorship by Guy Aitchison of Power 2010 and my retraction, and the ensuing post where I acknowledge the reappearance of the comments. However, I’m not withdrawing the post altogether, as that would be censorship in my turn. It’s the record of an experience, even if there’s an innocent explanation.

As an addendum to my last post criticising the lack of engagement of the Power 2010 constitutional-reform initiative with fundamental issues of nationhood, particularly the English Question, I’ve just noticed that they appear to have censored a critical comment I left on a Power 2010 post announcing the completion of the first phase of their process: gathering in suggestions for reform from people across the UK.

They’ve also removed another comment – from ‘wonkotsane’, if I remember correctly – which, like mine, questioned their use of the phrase ‘nations and regions of the UK’ to describe the composition of the 200-strong citizens’ assembly through which they are proposing to whittle down the 4,000 suggestions they’ve received to a list of five major reforms that they’re going to ask candidates at the general election to commit themselves to. So I’ve just left another comment asking them for the reason for the apparent censorship. Here’s the text of what I wrote, in case it disappears again:

“On Thursday, I left a comment here that expressed criticism regarding the lack of an English-national dimension to Power 2010’s proposed citizens’ assembly and the whole process of arriving at a short list of five reforms. You talk of the assembly being drawn from the ‘nations and regions’, implying there will be some sort of national-representative role for the delegates from Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland, but no national representation for / of England (‘the regions’). And I questioned the validity of a British representative assembly selecting constitutional and parliamentary options that will affect England more fundamentally than the other UK nations, as only England is governed in a unitary manner as if it were the UK, and the other nations are pursuing separate paths towards constitutional reform and self-government.

“I’m disappointed to discover that my comment and a subsequent comment from someone else questioning the validity of representation from the [English] regions have been removed. Could you explain the reason for this? Is Power 2010 about suppressing open debate and dissent?”

I’ll keep you posted on developments.


5 Responses

  1. Dave, please get your facts straight before you make these accusations. Your comments haven’t been censored at all:

  2. In fact please withdraw this allegation – as you can see neither comment has been deleted and there has been no attempt at censorship and never has been.

    • Guy, Apologies for the mistake. As you can see, I’ve subsequently acknowledged that the comments are now visible on the site. They weren’t visible when I looked last night: when I added my second comment, included in my blog post, it appeared as the ‘first’ comment on your article, with no others in evidence. Hence, I’m suggesting there may have been a software glitch. Perhaps my browser picked a cached page rather than the latest version of the page. But if so, it was still weird that when the page refreshed itself – after I’d added my second comment – only that second comment, and not the previous two, was visible.

      When I looked again early this morning, my second comment had gone and the two previous ones had reappeared. This suggests to me that someone other than yourself may have edited out the previous two comments – perhaps in error – and then reinstated them when they realised the error, after seeing my second comment, which was then removed.

      I don’t know. In any case, I’m sorry for alleging that censorship was involved and withdraw the comment.

  3. Hi Dave, it’s as confusing to me as it is to you. A duplicate post seems to have been created by some software glitch (the post you commented on has no “/” at the end whereas the original does).

    It took me by surprise because the second confusing post where the comments didn’t appear, was only revealed to me when you commented in it. I’m the only person who moderates comments so it must be a case of some kind of bizarre glitch rather than the comments being removed then reinstated.

    Sorry about that.

    Will reply properly soon…


    • Thanks, Guy. That sort of clears that up then – I should perhaps have tried to find out if anything was wrong first before assuming the worst.

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