In a sad day for the leftwards end of the blogosphere, Bob Piper has hung up his keyboard after a sustained campaign against him by a few Tories who made the effort to be offended by a picture ridiculing Cameron's new 'just like you' image.
The Tories who are doubtless celebrating the departure of another Labour blogger from the stage should take note. Climbing on the moral high ground may expose how weak your foundations are, particularly when your indignation is so palpably manufactured
We remember Bob Spink (Tory MP for Castle Point) and his 'send them back' newspaper advert about asylum seekers in 2005 or his claims that more criminals are black than white. We remember the candidate for Chester who has resigned citing issues over racism and sexism in the local party. We remember the recent North Norfolk selection meeting where a local member asked 'Could we be assured that neither of the candidates is a homosexual?' Then we have the comment of three Tory MPs to potential candidate Ali Miraj on his selection meeting, 'Good luck Ali, but I would be shocked if they didn’t pick a White middle-class male' - not racist, just that they understand how the grassroots membership thinks. At least they suspended a councillor for a genuinely racist email that she decided to forward from her council email account.
I will confess that I didn't like the picture, but I got the point behind the jibe at Cameron and I don't think that it was a racist statement. Bob isn't a racist and neither is Unity. Their loathing for the real racists in the BNP drips from their keyboards when they write about that vile party.
I'm sorry to see Bob go. It is a sad day for politics when we can't let our politicians loose in an unmediated environment, unfiltered by the lens of the media. I wish more of them would spend a few minutes connecting with us lesser mortals. Let's not have a political class dominated by bland, vapid, inoffensive technocrats. We need some people with hinterland, prepared to share their interests and their flaws so we can see that they are actually rounded human beings, not some party-trained robot.
So, don't be a stranger, Bob. Have a good Christmas and get back online in the New Year. There's Tory and Lib Dem dragons to slay out there.