I have followed The Thoughts of Oscar Blog, for the best part of 7 years. I'll be honest; I have rarely agreed with Oscar, I have often thought that his posts are offensive, unfair and sometimes bitter. But that is a feature of democracy. People with whom I passionately disagree are entitled to express their opinions. And the disagreement is often what makes politics vibrant and fun. I would be a hypocrite to defend much of what Oscar has said but I do defend his right to say it.
Despite the fact that I would never vote for him, I have a fair regard for my Constituency MP Guto Bebb. He seems to be a good constituency MP, in the sense that if you complain to him about the drains, he'll do something about the drains – regardless of whether he sees a vote in it or not. I have had very many internet discussions with him and a couple of "live" ones; on each and every occasion he seems well able to defend himself and his point of view with erudition.
I am bitterly disappointed by Guto's decision to take legal action against the Thought's of Oscar Blog, which is ultimately an attempt to close the blog down, because Guto has never before shown himself to be averse to defending himself on the comments pages of blog posts.
The so called "libellous" statements in Oscar's Post An Open Letter to Guto Bebb are actually minutiae – the MP HAS received donations from Russian Oligarch Alexander Temerko that locals might find suspect, whatever the reasons behind the donations!
OK. I accept Guto's defence that the Oligarch didn't pay him for supporting Israel's attack on Gaza; but why was the donation made? In support of Welsh culture, language, agriculture, local entrepreneurship or other things that affect the constituency, or for reasons that are not constituency related? Your constituents should be told not sued Guto!
Our MP HAS appeared to support the Israeli government in its campaign in Gaza, images of which have sickened many of his constituents of all political persuasions. Tell us why you support Israel, Guto. Persuade us to see the righteousness of supporting Israel rather than suing us for having the temerity to disagree with you!
I don't know what sort of reading figures Oscar has. This blog has a couple of thousand on a very, very good day! I suspect Oscar has similar. Guto can respond (as he has done eloquently in the past) to all the readership of a blog in the comments section. He has a better chance of bending the ear of a journalist than Oscar or I have, he can speak in Parliament under privilege; so why does he need to sue a blogger and try to shut him down? There is clearly something in one of Oscar's posts that has touched a very raw nerve! Suing Oscar might shut the blog down – but it may also expose that nerve!