Slugger’s Daily Blogburst: The unpleasant anti Brown anti depressant cock and bull tale…

Okay, kicking off today with that question of whether a respectable journalist like Andrew Marr has the right to ask the PM about a question that’s been been a Conservative blogosphere Talking Point for a couple of years now… Now it emerges the guy who kicked off the rumour has no idea whether it was true or not…- In a bravura I am Sparticus performance, Dizzy Thinks it might have been him who started the whole bandwagon rolling, and protests it was all a joke and believing that new Labour doesn’t do humour (which of course they wouldn’t given the spurious, made-up nature of the scam)…

– Meanwhile, Guido, who was riffing humorously on a “does he or doesn’t he?” linefor quite a while a few years back, is now distracting nicely by framing the whole thing with a strictly binary comparison with Cameron’s refusal to answer the ‘did you use drugs in your yooff’ question

– As Charlie Beckett notes the problem with the question is its very disingenuity: when did you stop beating your wife Gordon?

– I left my own inarticulate take on the situation over at Shane’s blog:

AS the Swift Boat veterans of 04 begat the TPM Muckracker of 08… what goes around now will almost certainly come round again… My guess is that someone somewhere is having another, much closer look at that nasty little email from Mr McBride and planning to create some smoke of their own… And I very much doubt it will stop there… This is just the wrong way to go chaps…

– Dave Cole reminds us there are more serious questions being skated over for the sake of the game of court politics:

– (via Mark Coughlan) Meanwhile, after hedging his bets for the longest time (until the Guardian stuck a PR bomb under his place-man Mr Coulson), Mr Murdoch’s biddable Pravda machine is touring Brighton with anti government slogans…

– Paul notes the cost to the taxpayers of Mr Murdoch’s last little Faustian with the last Labour administration… (Millions mate, millions…)

– And from Matthew Taylor a cold shower for ‘net optimists’ from Evgeny Morozov, a US based expert on how political regimes use technology:

Contradicting the lazy cyber utopianism of many politicians and commentators, he showed how authoritarian regimes like China, Russia and Iran are using the internet as a tool of reaction and repression. From Russia’s experiments with e-consultation, to the Iranian and Chinese regimes using crowd sourcing to identify dissidents, to the use by various regimes (including Israel) of private companies to manipulate online polls and Google searches, bad people in high places are proving as good at using the internet as good people blogging for freedom from their basements.

Labour list with lazy arse journalism

(Via Longman Oz) Peter Preston comes up with an alternative “external perspective” take on Ireland’s Lisbon Treaty debate. Warning: some dewy-eyedness ahead.

And finally, a nice post over at the Open Unionism blog (the new great beast of the NI blogosphere) in which Chekov argues that the extremely complex (neigh dangerous) selection procedure inside UCU-NF has to negotiate those notorious pitfalls and get a balance between the hyperlocal demands of the pure STV system and a strong team across the body corporate, not least since they are now the party that takes the Westminster mandate as seriously as Mark Durkan does…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty