Sunday, 7 June 2009

In Which I Add My Voice To The "Ed Whelan Is A Prick" Choir

While I may technically be an anonymous blogger, my identity is so ludicrously easy to ascertain (from my e-mail address, for one), and my daily hit rate so modest, that I think I can comment on recent events without it seeming particularly self-serving.

Ed Whelan is a prick. There's very little more to be said about him. Responding to having his arguments mocked by arbitrarily punishing the mocker is the action of an obvious twat. The real clue to his douche-osity, though, is in his follow-up.
A blogger may choose to blog under a pseudonym for any of various self-serving reasons, from the compelling (e.g., genuine concerns about personal safety) to the respectable to the base. But setting aside the extraordinary circumstances in which the reason to use a pseudonym would be compelling, I don’t see why anyone else has any obligation to respect the blogger’s self-serving decision.
This is exactly the sort of argument I despise. Absent a verifiable obligation to respect someone's wishes, it goes, there's nothing wrong with violating them on a whim. It's the stunted offspring of the "If it's not illegal, it's not immoral" pseudo-argument which is all that allows 99% of politicians to look at themselves in the mirror. If all you have to justify what you've done is there was nothing to stop you doing it, you need to seriously consider the possibility that you're just an arsehole, especially if the reason you did do it was out of wounded pride.

Update: Credit where it's due, Whelan has now directly apologised to publius.

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