I still haven't got a grip on Facebook - and now I'm a bit worried about who I've accepted as a Facebook 'friend'. This follows a rumpus over our young candidates, Craig Williams and Harri Lloyd Davies signing up as a 'friend' of John Jenkins, who was deselected as a Conservative Assembly candidate last year over homophobic remarks he made some years ago.
This seems completely 'over the top' to me. I didn't agree with John's comments about gay men and he shouldn't have made them. But when I discussed his views with him, I didn't think he was homophobic and rather liked him. It could easily have been me agreeing to be his 'friend' - and I would have been very put out if that was taken as any sort of support for stupid comments he made several years ago. I have agreed to become a ' Facebook friend' of several people that I don't know at all. I am even a 'friend' of Peter Hain ! There could be all sorts of weirdos lurking on my Facebook site just waiting to leap out and bite me.
I am surprised by this turn of events. I don't really have much option other than to ask my trusty Phill to delete anybody from my list of Facebook friends on Monday that I do not know. Or more likely, I will de-select myself from Facebook. I really can't be bothered to go through the process of checking up on everybody in the sort of detail it seems I need to. Pity - but that's the way of the world. There are rules for politicians and other rules for everyone else.
This demonstates why some politicians steer clear of the blogosphere altogether. Last week, someone claiming to be a lifelong Conservative supporter rang my office to say that he had visited my blog and been so disgusted that neither he nor his wife would ever vote Conservative again - even though I go to so much trouble to keep it clean and proper. I think his wife had found her way onto a linked blog - but I got the blame.