The furore surrounding the closure of the Medway Times continues to rumble in the press with Conservatives being challenged for the manner in which the Medway Times was evicted because of the apparent 'politically' controvertial views.
There is still an unwillingness by those in power to understand the distinction between the editorial views of the Medway Times with that of printing ad-verbatim press releases from all political views, and none, across Medway.
There is also no response on whether it is really apprpopriate, reasonable or proportionate to evict a site such as this, on the back of the news site containing 'political' stories which I would argue do no way constitute a 'political campaign outfit' as defined by the Council. Whilst the tenancy agreement or contract does stipulate no political campaigning I believe that definition to hardly be covered by what Medway Times were doing.
To call Medway Times a 'political campaign outfit' is laughable.
Not only is the Medway Times not a politically registered party, agency or body but it prints none of its own political leaflets or views; nor does any of its staff have any outward or individual views expressed to change the party in power locally; The editorial position of the Medway Times was barely evident under Steven or Helmut; these guys really did have no axe to grind and to me were solely entrepreneurs trying to manage a small business; I know of no party political or other affiliations to the men.
The Tory administration via the Council are clearly happy to spend public tax payers money in challenging the press article yesterday in the Medway Messenger, which took the reasonable line that summarily shutting down news publications because they happen to deviate from a 'Conservative-sanctioned' line is perhaps an afront to democracy. It now looks like the KM Group is suffering the same form of hectoring that the Times experienced and does represent an overstepping of some form of grey line to me; in whose interest is it to push this issue, the public or the politicians?
It should be a warning light to organisations like Rochester People, Medway Eyes and Medway Broadside that should you deviate from the administrations position you will get a cold wind from Tories desperate for positive news.
Tory Councillors pretend to be in it for the community; but shutting down community news sites is hardly community drive. It is the worst instincts of the controlling and lecturing right wing.
The rebuttal from the Council Press office makes no mention of any other reason for the eviction other then the political content. As I understand that totally contradicts a number of other briefs; and actually makes the Council position look even more unreasonable, because the public dont look favourably on independent news sites being closed solely because they had the audacity to challenge the administration.
The reasonable course of action in this case would have been to ask Medway Times to retract and publish an apology on the content deemed inappropriate; to the life of me I still can not understand why the administration continues to be unwilling to accept it overeacted.
Of course what this all points to is a loss of control. As we enter the fag-end years of the Tories in Gun Wharf they will become increasingly desperate to control the message that they are doing a reasonable job with your tax payers pounds.
Of course they are not; and they are being exposed to this position by the cold reality of the print and online press.