ConservativeHom.Com is one of the best political websites around at the moment and goes to prove that a party can have open, honest, robust debate in public without people shouting "split" at every moment. It is stalked by uber-Cameroonies, by the barking right but also by a majority of perfectly sane Tory members all talking about internal party issues, selections, debates and the daily news that involves the Conservatives. As such it has developed a wide audience, is righly regarded by the party leadership and draws an audience from across the party political spectrum.
I was therefore quite excited when LibDem Voice (LDV) started up because I thought the same honesty could now spread to the LibDems who, to be fair, have got a lot of internal policy issues and leadership considerations to be had. I thought it would be interesting and hoped they could have the debates that CH.com had given us.
A few months on and it is quite, quite disappointing. The LibDems, never ones to (normally) air their dirty washing in public have made a sitemore dedicated to Tory-bashing than to reflection on their own party. The majority of the stories are either anti-tory or congratulatory nonsense from the days news. They are obsessed with positive spin. Maybe it should be called Anti-Tory Voice instead (ATV)?
Now I know the LibDems like a bit of Tory bashing, but why not leave that to the blogs and have one site where honesty can prevail? We are always told what a positive party the LibDems are - but check out the current news story list (as at the time of writing this post):
Conservative defection to UKIP
Conservative apologises for e-mail
Blair's director of government relations arrested
Vince Cable on personal debt (a rather loyal video clip)
Ming on Marr (positive)
Cameron fails to grasp issues
Scottish Tory calls on Leader to go
New LibDem Euro Leader announced
LibDem frontbench rehsuffle
Two More Tory defections
So thats more negative stories against other parties than in favour of your own group.
Keeping the real debate hidden isn't honest, open or fair. And quite frankly, it doesn't make the LibDems look like a mature, grown-up party of government either.