John Ward has sent the disturbing circular below to the registered readers of his powerful and compelling blog "The Slog". We trust he will return with a new site that is less vulnerable to censorship by Big Brother. [Edit: seems to be OK - try here] [Edit: News (good news) from JW - see comment]
Some time around 8.30 GMT this morning, my site was removed by Wordpress. They've gobbled up nearly two years of content as well, and it seems they're allowed to do this. Two hours later I'm still waiting for the 'explanation'. It will probably say 'incitement' or 'hate content', or one of the many Soviet-style 'crimes' these people invent to shut troublemakers up.
I only found this out at about 10.30 today, because before that I'd been drafting an anti-Google piece.
Earlier, I'd phoned Google to ask why they've been putting unauthorised ads on The Slog. I sent them a Recorded letter two weeks ago, which of course they ignored.
When the phone was picked up, I was offered two choices: type in an extension number, or for technical help go to the website. Then the connection was broken.
So it's Orwell meets Kafka, in a new production of We have the power, and you have none.
To be honest, I'm not surprised. I suspect the complaint(s) have been made by one or more of Newscorp, the Telegraph Group, the Tory Party, Google, Jeremy Hunt, Lord Kinnock, Lord Strathclyde, Andrew Lansley, the Met Police, Andy Coulson, Andy Hayman, Stephen Day, and any one of a hundred other control freaks and psychopaths The Slog has attacked over the last eighteen months....or comment threaders who simply didn't like the content.
I'm in a degree of shock at the moment, but am going on holiday tomorrow for ten days anyway. My feeling at the moment, however, is that an off-the-peg website may now be the wrong medium for me. This will be the third time I've been closed down or forced to move in the last four years; and no matter what pingomatic and all the others tell you, every time it happens, one loses over half the readership. (When I moved from Google, you may remember, they broke the links I left from there to Wordpress).
If I had to make a specific guess, I'd say it was probably the Prince Andrew story that tipped somebody in authority over the edge. There was some progress on that front over the weekend, and I'd been doing some work with a national title on it. But who can tell? These are the rules, and to have any freedom of speech at all - until the political class is history - we have to abide by them.
Thanks for your support in the past, and if you can give this matter an airing in the Blogosphere, I'd be grateful.