Jo Swinson’s expenses: why you should write an email today

I’ve been very gratified by the entirely positive feedback my articles about the Daily Telegraph and Jo Swinson yesterday have received.  This is entirely in keeping with the broadly sympathetic reaction Jo has received on both the blogosphere and on Twitter.

That the story has had such a positive backlash is of course a good thing.  The trouble with such stories however is that they often grow in the retelling.  I’ve already cited how the BBC and Guardian have contributed to this.  What if a candidate opposing Jo in the general election campaign were to base a dirty tricks campaign on this story? What happens the next time a newspaper decides to do a profile on her and a time pressured researcher finds the story via a quick Google search?

As Mark Pack wrote last year:

…internet search engines are changing the dynamic of negative stories. Whilst in the past the correct response was often to either say nothing or say very little and wait for a story to blow over, the big risk in the internet era is that as a result only one side of the story is laid out there waiting for search engines to find when people research the person or the topic in future years.

In short, we cannot afford to let this stand.  That’s why I am encouraging people to write directly to the Telegraph, the BBC and the Guardian and demand a retraction and apology. (There are other media outlets which have repeated and embellished the original Telegraph piece but the original source and more reputable outlets are a good place to start).

So far, the response has been tremendous, but we need as many people as possible to do this so they cannot afford to ignore the issue.

Finally, a (non-exhaustive) list of blogs which have already commented on this:

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  • Rob Parsons 24th May '09 - 9:27pm

    I’ve done all three letters, and commented on my blog – – Never thought I’d mention Dorries and Swinson in the same breath.

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