Friday, August 13, 2004

MP hits back over spoof weblog

From This Is Brighton and Hove
First published on Monday 09 August 2004:
MP hits back over spoof weblog
by Brendan Montague
A spoof web site lampooning Brighton MP David Lepper has been posted on the internet.
The Pavilion MP has become the latest victim of a national campaign to 'blackmail' politicians into starting web log (blog) online diaries.
Some of the "proxy-blogs" are openly hostile to the targeted MP and Mr Lepper will now consider legal action to get the site removed.
Other high-profile victims include Parliament's youngest MP Sarah Teather and former health minister Alan Milburn.
The Almost David Lepper site steals some of the content from the MP's own site, making it appear genuine. But it also includes jibes against Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott - following the Falmer decision - and other senior politicians.
Mr Lepper said: "It's highly objectionable that someone is posting information on the internet claiming it has been written by me.
"I'm particularly concerned because there is an email address given which purports to be my own.
"I would hate anyone to think the responses from this address came from me."
The MP believes he was contacted by the author of the web site who complained his real web site has not been updated.
Dr Nick Palmer, secretary of the all-party Parliamentary internet group, said: "Blackmailing MPs into creating blogs is not the best way. If they want the MP to blog, they should get in touch and ask.
"David Lepper is a serious and dedicated MP and does not deserve to be ripped off in this way."
The culprit behind the fake David Lepper site calls himself Ivor.
He said on the site: "People had been asking: 'Who the hell is David Lepper MP and what does he do all day every day?'
"What are my views on the pier that fell into the sea? Fat Boy Slim's beach party? Fatboy Prescott's handling of our new football stadium? These are pressing issues, alongside reform of the residential leasehold laws and a national park on the South Downs."
But there has been a growth of genuine blogs by MPs following successful internet campaigns in the United States.
Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, was the first parliamentarian to start writing a blog, now among the most popular in the country.


Blogger Julian said...

Tremendous! "Mr Lepper said: "It's highly objectionable that someone is posting information on the internet claiming it has been written by me." It certainly would be if it was true. Hard to imagine how anyone could mistake the disclaimer at the top of the page.

13 August 2004 at 11:18  
Blogger Julian said...

Blogged here

13 August 2004 at 11:30  

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