Whatever your views about this blog or Caebrwyn's award-winning work on Carmarthenshire Planning Problems, it is unlikely that you would describe either as pornography, but that is how County Hall treats them, and the two sites are effectively blocked to all councillors who wish to read them on a council PC.
other bloggers will know, it is possible to identify some sources of
traffic on blogs, and despite the ban some of the most avid readers of the two blogs
are, you guessed it, in County Hall. It seems that what we write is so dangerous that only officers may read it.
One of the criticisms most frequently levelled at Carmarthenshire County Council is that it is "officer led". Occasionally you will hear a few of the councillors make the same complaint in council meetings, and whenever they do a chorus of jeers and groans erupts from the "Independent" benches (and from some of the Labour contingent too). Paradoxically the jeers and groans are almost without exception the only contribution to debate, representing their electors' interests or holding the authority to account that visitors to the public gallery will ever hear from those quarters.
But at least it serves to prove that they are actually still alive.
The extent to which they question the council, stand up for their electors, read and understand the reports they are being asked to approve or make their own independent inquiries can be imagined.
But there are councillors who do try, and in Carmarthenshire they deserve special praise because the cards are stacked against them.
Peter Hughes Griffiths (Plaid), the leader of the opposition on the council, recently wrote to the South Wales Guardian to complain, among other things, that reports produced by the Ombudsman for Public Services about Carmarthenshire County Council have been withheld from councillors. So dangerous and subversive are these reports that, like the blogs, they are only suitable for the eyes of the officers and the ruling elite on the Executive Board.
How does that square with one of the primary functions of a county councillor, which is to hold the authority to account? Answer: it doesn't.
Late last year we learned that the South Wales Guardian, now the only local paper in the county which is free from County Hall's editorial control, has been singled out and put under special measures by the Kremlin on the Tywi which is effectively trying to force the newspaper out of business.
That leaves the blogs as the only other source of independent news about our local authority, and one of those is being sued in the Royal Courts of Justice in London at the expense of the county's taxpayers.
If you feel depraved or morally polluted after reading this, a quick rub-down with the council's Carmarthenshire News should do the trick.