It’s very interesting that David Cameron’s almost disgraced Communications chief Andy Coulson warned that Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes of the revoltingly populist and regrettably popular blog of the same name, could be an unsuitable channel for Tory funds.
It transpires that the Tories used Staines’ company Message Space to buy adverts on other right wing blogs including Iain Dale and Tory Bear plus the grassroots Mumsnet site.
So what, you may ask? Well two things strike me:
Firstly and most importantly, according to the Times, Staines has regularly complained that the Coalition is not right wing enough. This would appear to be a classic example of a “donor” trying to call the tune – something the Tories are only to quick to accuse Labour of.
Secondly, we in politics need to rethink the rules on political advertising. Where do blogs and online content fit in? As the Internet becomes ever more part of our daily lives, it has to become part of our legislation and the way we govern ourselves and should therefore abide by the rules which apply to other forms of communication.