You, my friends, signify nothing

I'm so sorry to have to tell you this... But you, my friends, signify nothing.

That's the message from Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews. Returning to his normal blog, the man who is now in possession of one of the largest Labour majorities in Wales has given the following appraisal of the Welsh political blogosphere:

I wasn't that impressed with the so-called 'Welsh blogosphere' during the campaign...

Too many blogs, including this one, seemed more interested in gossip and rumour. When that spreads to the BBC, it's bad news. The Beeb should apply the same standards to its blogs as to the rest of its news coverage. I do agree with this one that the absence of competition in the Welsh news media gives more opportunity for bloggers, but having now caught up with some of the blogging from election night itself, it seems to have been largely based on rumours which were being broadcast on the mainstream media anyway. Welsh bloggers need better sources if they are going to make waves...


To me, this seems like an odd analysis of the contribution blogs have made to the election, and one which is at odds with everything I've heard from other notable personalities and plenty of ordinary Joes too.

So, I posted this reply:

Leighton, you appear to fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of the blogosphere.

If it's to break stories, well then, that's news to me:)

Its most significant contribution has been to provide a platform for analysis and debate. To allow people, no matter if they're a mam from Merthyr, a politician experimenting with being honest or a pensioner from North Wales, to have their say. If it's interesting enough, people will read it.

It is, after all, a meritocracy out there...


To my surprise, Mr Andrews responded almost instantly:

Yes, I thought my comments would upset you.

Having blogged for two and a half years, I'm afraid my conclusion is that the Welsh so-called blogosphere is a self-referential realm, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Having a blog has improved the hit rate on my web presence ten-fold; it's been a useful platform for some of my campaigns; but its influence on Welsh politics - and overall, the Welsh media - is zilch.

By the way, were you born pompous?


Well, no, I replied, assuming that Mr Andrews was joking. (Huw Edwards, by the way, was definitely joking, we cleared that one up!)

Also, I can't speak for you lot, but this blog is devoid of any 'fury'. The only time I've got worked up is in support of my beloved Cardiff City. And as a fellow bluebird, I'm sure Mr Andrews would understand.

What he appears not to understand, however, is the contribution YOU have made to this election by insisting on having your say, whether in your own blogs (and there are new ones every day) or in the comments section of others.

The overwhelming political sentiments of recent times are apathy and an erosion of trust in our elected politicians. The blogosphere, used appropriately, is a partial remedy to both. Surely, something is better than nothing?

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 12:08 am,

54 Comments:

At 12:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, who is Leighton Andrews? I ask tongue in cheek.
I know, he says he is very important, maybe more important than the first minister.

Blamers,he is telling you that you are out of order by allowing free speech on your blog. His methods of getting votes and Labour elected are dark and murky and there are many out there who have been outraged that this mafia type behaviour still goes on.

Of course we must keep on blogging. And we will tell others that positive blogging is the way forward. That also means outing any control freaks trying to steal votes by fear and foul means.

Leighton's days are numbered as a bully. Maybe he taught Rhoders to bully in a private moment. The rumours were more than that, they were facts and about unpleasant people doing unpleasant things to harm others during the campaigns.

Did you care he wasn't impressed? I doubt most of us did, can't think of anyone I know who was blogging so that Leighton could read it. But many others do, And by the next election there will be many more.

At least one area lost a brilliant candidate because Leighton and co pushed a monkey in to win. And from now on blogs with Leighton will linked with dirty tricks.

 
At 1:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By the way, were you born pompous"

LOL, The lack of manners with some New Labour is stunning. Last week Rhodri called IWJ arrogant in front of the TV camera, A ploy to put him is his place (somewhere under the table) Now King Leighton is doing the same with Blamerbell lol

 
At 1:32 am, Blogger Ordovicius said...

What can I say about Lovely Leighton? Not a lot here, because Im sure Blamerbell does not allow the C word, so I'll just settle for "He's a fat".

 
At 7:09 am, Anonymous Dave Rodway said...

Are you suprised? LA is a self-obsessed little man responsible for the crap campaign his party ran, and which cost them dear. He's also, despite being Mr Labour , an ex Lib Dem and ddespite being Mr Cardiff City, an ex Gillingham FC supporter. His political reinvention is total, and skin deep, as is strongly implied by his fellow (real) Labourite Paul Flynn, who called him a 'political chameleon' on his website, and laughs at teh man;s outlandish claim that he won the 'Yes for Wales referendum'.
Leighton Big Maj Andrews indeed...
pompous little bully, and increasingly perceived as such by everyone else, including his own party.
In any case, if he spends that much time attacking you, you must be worth something.
He's rumoured to threaten legal action a lot as well.
DR

 
At 7:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a total hypocrite!

him and david taylor set up natwatch!

 
At 8:33 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares what Leighton Andrews thinks. Burberry didn't. He and the rest of the political establishment sum up what is wrong with labour and why it will continue to decline.

 
At 9:42 am, Anonymous D Evans said...

Dear Mr Blamebells,
I notice you have a heading on yr blog menu that says 'Political Tools'. Can you perhaps put a picture of Leighton beneath it, as that about sums him up?
Yours sincerely,
Dai Evans

 
At 9:43 am, Blogger Mark Leslie Woods said...

Leighton sounds fairly pompous, himself, if you ask me.

He might be right about the Welsh blogosphere being self-referential, but if I had to choose, I think I'd rather have my head fixated on my national 'navel', than to have my arrogantly enlarged head stuck in anatomically awkward places (use your imagination here).

Since when does he get to be proscriptive as to how Welsh blogs should function?

Perhaps Labour will pass a bill (if they can scrape up enough votes) to instruct future Welsh bloggers how to behave 'properly'.

In America we have a response to bullying politicians and other enemies of free expression: 'Don't Tread on Me'.

Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gadsden_flag.svg

 
At 11:07 am, Anonymous cardiffbay said...

Andrews's reply was clearly penned by David Taylor. Andrews is himself a pompous nonentity and relies on Taylor to promote him.

Taylor will himself be sweating after last week's performance. He was in charge of the Labour campaign which screwed up big time in Clwyd West and Aberconwy and also nearly lost Delyn and Vale of Clwyd. He is disliked by Brownites and will certainly be chopped when Gordon gets in and they have time to worry about such peripheral issues as the assembly.

 
At 11:50 am, Blogger bethan said...

This is New Labour control freakery- and because they can't control it they don't want it to exist.
This seems ironic coming from a man who has seemingly embraced new technological advancements to further his political career.
Basically, if it doesn't put them in a good light, they are having none of it.
Keep it up, I say- as long as it isn't personal attacks.

 
At 11:56 am, Blogger Aled J said...

The comments submitted by Leighton Andrews typify New Labour's control freakery.He,and his other New Labour colleagues in Wales simply do not like the thought of a new democratic forum which they simply cannot control. Therefore, he uses this red herring about concerns about quality control in the blogosphere when it comes to breaking stories.This is undoubtedly the tactic that New Labour will now employ in Wales to try and tarnish this new medium. It won't work because this new medium now has built up a momentum as regards debate and discussion which just cannot be stopped. Politicians have got to accept that citizen participation is the key to building a new democratic Wales, and blogging is going to be an important element in that development.

 
At 12:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogging is importnat because it allows fre thought from those interested in welsh politcs. This can be difficult in a Welsh Labour party where to hold heretical views often means that you are cast as an enemyof the state. Keep it up Blamerbells and to hell with Andrews and the rest of the control freaks.

 
At 12:48 pm, Anonymous Gareth Morgan said...

Former Lib-dem Parliamentarian and millionaire Leighton Andrews does not speak for the Labour Party, he speaks ONLY for himself.

His blog says he has the biggest share- wrong- Ogmore has a larger share of the Labour vote.

He is an ego-tist who thankfully has pissed off so many Labour AMs he has no hope of obtaining any sort of power.

Leighton will soon re-join the Lib-dems: mark my words.

 
At 12:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leighton is to blame for Labour's worst campaign in living memory.

Leighton is Welsh Labour's campaign director.

Leighton should resign.

 
At 1:33 pm, Anonymous anon said...

have you seen his blog though? it's shit, and the most frequent word you find there is 'I', a wholly ego-driven cyber-puff to self.
I don;t believe he has helped our campaign one iota, and he's actually harmed the way we are perceived. His smug blog entry congratulating himself on his win sums it up: pull up the ladder Dai, I'm all right!
got any pics of David Taylor? In case I see him at the next strategy meeting... a good physical description will do

 
At 1:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leighton has bullied his way throughout the campaign, making many critical errors.

Leighton has stuffed money into Cardiff north and the vale allowing Catherine and Tamsin to swing. Others told him not too, but he would not listen.

Fatal errors by Leighton I'm afriad.

 
At 1:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arsembly NEVER allows negagive comments on Leighton.

Please try and post a negative comment on Leighton Andrews and see how it is ignored.

This is the strongest sign that Leighton's- self serving- dark arts are at it again.

 
At 1:46 pm, Anonymous Michael Major said...

You are right-Leighton's slagg-off of the blogs, does not include Arsembly. Odd thats isn'it?

Leighton is involved in someway.

 
At 1:57 pm, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

Leighton Andrews is relic from a dark totalitarian socialist past.
Not this country, I may add. The former Soviet Union, is what I was thinking of.

His blog is quite dreary (and does not include links to other parties). and controlling.

I truly believe the only reason that he dislikes blogging is because allows the average Joe to voice a opinion.

If there's one thing Labour seems to like is a indolent population. Unfortunately for him and his fellow "Stalinist" that's coming to an end.

 
At 2:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Labour member, Leighton does not represent us.

He is all you say he is- a controlling egomaniac.

 
At 2:51 pm, Blogger Aran said...

Blogs are (for the most part!) just people.

People who can publish what they want to say in a way which allows other people to respond, which creates discussion. Some of it is worthwhile.

More discussion helps trigger more analysis, more organised responses, more scrutiny - what some people might like to call more democracy.

The web promotes (amongst other things) self-organisation.

This suggests an interesting time ahead for political parties, who rather like to think that they're the ones who ought to be doing the organising.

So Leighton doesn't think blogs matter. I wonder if he thinks that people matter...

 
At 3:18 pm, Blogger Leighton Andrews said...

I think the comments here bear out my views.

People want politicians to express themsleves clearly and say what we mean - but when we do so we are accused of trying to close down free speech and being bullies. I wasn't challenging anyone's right to blog - I was merely giving my view that most of what I read in the eection campaign contributed little of value.

On a factual note, I was not Labour's Director of Campaigns, or of Communications, or Strategy or of anything else in Labour's Assembly campaign. I was simply the candidate in the Rhondda!

 
At 3:25 pm, Blogger Ted Jones said...

Leighton for Labour leader I say. If he can achieve Labour's worst result since the first world war as head of election strategy, imagine what he could achieve as leader!

 
At 3:33 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Leighton, many thanks for your comments.

You are expressing your view as a politician. These people are expressing their views as non-politicians.

You seem to be saying that their views signify nothing. Whereas I think they signify a great deal.

The mere fact that we are having this conversation with 21 other people illustrates a great stride forward. And don't forget that hundreds (and of late, thousands) more are reading, but not commenting.

People are simply exercising their right to freedom of expression. That in itself is unremarkable. The significant thing is that they are doing it in the context of a debate about Welsh politics, something which has spectacularly failed to excite people so far in eight years of devolution.

The internet has its own momentum. I suspect that politicians who don't recognise this (and I don't count you among them) will find themselves left behind.

 
At 5:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how dare leigton andrews as an ex BBC employee have a go at people who demand the right to free speech.

I ask why we our daily, evening and local papers (all Labour controlled) contribute nothing to the debate about Wales and its future. The blogs atleast in my opinion are readdressing the balance

If he objects to the blogs so much, get his colleagues to sort out the Media in Wales

 
At 5:24 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

A well written and considered reply by Blamerbell

 
At 5:54 pm, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

Every one is entitled to a view, that called free speech If you want to judge what other people say and the style in which they say it - that’s free speech too, but I would ask in the name of freedom of information the criteria that Mr Andrews uses or bases his judgement on.
It s it arbitrary, for example, I don’t like that comment; is it reflective, does he have a set of Key Indicators, if he is judging are we in a contest, is there a prize.
It’s just that if he has no basis then I worry about how he uses his discernment on matters in the Assembly.
You see Leighton bach – more sense, more ground-breaking eath shattering thoughts and actions have come from non politicians in this world that a small group of people creating hot air in a chamber’. My gran was the wisest woman or may be I should say I have ever known, and I have met a few so called impressive people.

May be the you should reflect on these two quotes which have been at he basis of what my credo is and how I would judge, not on age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, geography or the ability to twist words and people

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy- Abe Lincoln
"Civilization is the encouragement of differences. Civilization thus becomes a synonym of democracy. Force, violence, pressure, or compulsion with a view to conformity, is both uncivilized and undemocratic." - -- Mahatma Gandhi

 
At 6:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name Party Votes % +/- %
Who was the only one to loose votes over last time mmmmmmmm

Leighton Andrews LAB 12,875 58.2 -3.4
Jill Evans PC 6,660 30.1 +3.1
Karen Roberts LD 1,441 6.5 +3.6
Howard Parsons CON 1,131 5.1 +2.9
Majority 6,215 28.1
Turnout 22,107 42.1 -3.5

 
At 7:28 pm, Anonymous labour boy said...

Leighton, while you're at it,please tell us the link between you and/or David Taylor and Natwatch. Something tells you won;t answer this one...

 
At 8:00 pm, Blogger Simo said...

One point to make. " As a voter I have a voice, my voice is my vote. I also blog and read blogs it helps me to make up my mind to cast my vote. If I am nothing, then every voter is nothing!".

New Labour = New Stalinists

 
At 8:14 pm, Anonymous Dai Evans said...

'On a factual note'... yes, can Leighton please suply an answer to the question posed by Labour boy?

 
At 8:45 pm, Anonymous Labour Insider said...

Leighton DID have a key role in running Labour's failed election. He must share the blame.

Leighton now wishes he didn't have a role, but he did.

This just goes to show how awful Leighton thinks his running of some of the campaign was.All of us inside the party are aware of his role.

Thank god Alun Davies is now in our ranks thats all I can say.

 
At 8:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a volunteeer, I know Leighton Andrews virtually lived inside Transport House.

If he wasn't helping run the Labour campaign, why on earth was he there?

I'm disappointed he is now seeking to deny the work he did for us.

 
At 9:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Labour Insider said...
Leighton DID have a key role in running Labour's failed election. He must share the blame.

Leighton now wishes he didn't have a role, but he did.///


What a cachgi. Leaving others to clean up the mess:-(

Yes, his name came up several times from candidates in other parties.

 
At 10:41 pm, Anonymous Labour Boy said...

Thank god for Alun Davies? You mean Alun Davies who used to be chair of PLaid? Mmmm. another highly principled media operator for the 'people's party'.
New Labour is full of these peopel with no principles, who just want power and personal glory.
I Its safe to say I havent heard a good word said about Alun Davies either, from either of his parties.
Anyone noticed that LA hasn;t answered the question by Dai Evans?

 
At 11:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Labour Boy said...
" Mmmm. another highly principled media operator for the 'people's party'.
New Labour is full of these peopel with no principles, who just want power and personal glory. "


Well, there was a time in many constituencies in Wales you could put a Labour badge on a donkey and he would win. Such was the trust in Labour. Politics attracted talent back then,people who blazed a trail of passion for changes in our society.
But Labour changed. Politics changed. Good people became disillusioned when they realised their MP was no longer a voice to be heard at Westminster,. Even cabinet members became dummies. We had New Labour. Clever people of the caliber of past politicians no longer wanted to humiliate themselves as public puppets. It was a fertile ground for any with self ambition and for the first time Labour would accept them.

 
At 7:35 am, Anonymous Dai said...

Hey Leighton, your silence on teh questoin re Natwatch is deafening and will have to be taken as 1) evasiveness and 2) basically an admission that you and your assistant were responsible.
A racist site full of bile, some anti-gay comments and a running commentary of women-bashing.
Proud of yourslef?

 
At 10:56 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting facts...

1. Leighton didn't run the Labour campaign. It was a total shambles, but not thanks to Leighton's input - blame Rhodri and his 'advisors' for that. He is, however, way too big-headed to roundly deny involvement, as he would far rather have run a losing campaign than not run one at all.

2. David Taylor didn't 'run' anything in North Wales. Two Labour Party organisers did. The Labour Party wouldn't trust Mr Taylor with a Council seat, certainly not a regional campaign. He is as devious as his boss. Incidentally, ego-issues (as above) prevent him denying involvement - he loves the coverage.

3. Leighton is about as popular in the Labour Group as he is in this comments page.

I am a Labour supporter, who campaigned in half a dozen seats over the past month or so. We got a kicking in part because of below-par AMs, but some good people were culled because of self-serving, off the record briefing that Leighton Andrews loves so much. Shame on him.

 
At 11:24 am, Anonymous someone in transport house said...

Anonymong - you are full of shit, and clearly don't know much.

Leighton was on the Labour campaign executive. he wasnt in transport house much during the short campaign as he had his seat to fight but he was always on the phone.

David Taylor was in north wales. dunno what he was doing tho, he was on the phone to owain sivell jones a lot. think he was in delyn and vael of clwyd

 
At 11:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"someone in transport house said...
Anonymong - you are full of shit, and clearly don't know much.

Leighton was on the Labour campaign executive. he wasnt in transport house much during the short campaign as he had his seat to fight but he was always on the phone.

David Taylor was in north wales. dunno what he was doing tho, he was on the phone to owain sivell jones a lot. think he was in delyn and vael of clwyd"


David - if you are going to post comments about your boss, at least try and sound like someone other than yourself.

 
At 1:58 pm, Anonymous someone in transport house said...

I'm not david, you idiot. I'm that fond of either of them (him or his boss). but I am sick of reading all this bollox by people claiming to be labour insiders - you clearly are not.

 
At 2:55 pm, Anonymous D Evans said...

still no sign of Leighton's reply to the Natwatch question...

 
At 3:38 pm, Anonymous Dai Walters said...

It's right about LA editing out "unfavourable comments" on his blog (I'm sad enough to have posted on said blog)

As a Plaid member I also say thank god Alun Davies is a Labour AM - a man variously described as "the most unprincipled person in Welsh politics" (up against some pretty stiff competition!) and "lovely bloke but I wouldn't put him in charge of a barbecue"

When in Plaid, Davies would tell a story about how the Labour Party in Tredegar refused to let him join because "we're full"!! I don't think he ever realised that this said more about him that it did about Labour.

That's "welsh" labour for you - now reduced to having in the assembly people they once rejected as members!

 
At 4:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dai walters said:
That's "welsh" labour for you - now reduced to having in the assembly people they once rejected as members! ///


Quite true. Scarily true.
They hope there are not many around who remember how it all was in the 1960s and 1970s. Some MPs these days would not have been chosen as local council candidates.
Even scarier is to see some names like Hain now with so much power within the party.
Labour has become like gorgonzola cheese, full of holes waiting for any opportunist to fill. There's no one left to go over their political credentials with a fine tooth comb.

 
At 4:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"someone in transport house said...
I'm not david, you idiot. I'm that fond of either of them (him or his boss). but I am sick of reading all this bollox by people claiming to be labour insiders - you clearly are not."

I'm so inside, pal, it's painful. How's your boss? Glad to have you back in the office? Always liked him, you know...

 
At 4:47 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

don't you mean emmental?

 
At 5:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blamerbell said:
don't you mean emmental? //

Yes. Wind blown my brain away today;-(

 
At 6:59 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

By Gorgonzolla he menat the stench coming from New Labour (any Labour really)

What were Huey and Andrews views after todays meeting - labour to have talks about negotiations and negotiations about talks - withey ibnvove the cleaners at the Senedd as everyone else seems to be involved.

 
At 7:01 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

Sorry I don't have type gibberish

 
At 9:40 am, Anonymous Almost Anonymous said...

Dowlais Twp is Carwyn Jones. I claim my £10. Now feck off and annoy someone else.

 
At 9:54 am, Anonymous dave rodway said...

Its funny that there are so many Enenemous comments on this blog from som someone attacking anyobdy who dares to spaek ill of Huey Lewis and Leighton BIg Maj Andrews? Funny that.
Is it because Leighton is still not anwerign the Natwatch question he has been openly asked?
DR

 
At 10:09 am, Blogger dowlais twp said...

"Almost Anonymous said...
Dowlais Twp is Carwyn Jones. I claim my £10. Now feck off and annoy someone else."

Glad to say I am not a politican, only a sad anorak like Almost Anonymous, posting to political blogs.

I will attack any politician of whatever political hue where they are rubbish and I will praise politicians where praise is due.

And Almost Anonymous - use of foul and abusive language is unbecoming of you

 
At 11:37 am, Anonymous Almost Anonymous said...

Come on! One 'feck' is hardly foul and abusive!

 
At 1:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave rodway said...
Its funny that there are so many Enenemous comments on this blog from som someone attacking anyobdy who dares to spaek ill of Huey Lewis and Leighton BIg Maj Andrews? Funny that.
Is it because Leighton is still not anwerign the Natwatch question he has been openly asked?
DR ///


Maybe it was all meant to be a great secret. Now we all know about their dirty deeds.
We in far distant part of Wales already knew there were funny goings on by Labour in the valleys, news travels fast during campaigns. It was a breath of fresh air to read Leighton Andrews message which confirmed he was appalled his dirty secret was out through the clever detective work of blogging. Now the people involved will always be politically tarred whatever happens in the Assembly.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home