Friday 10 October 2008

My new friends

It's a worrying change when most of your friends, and some who'd like to be, preface conversation with me by "This is off the record, OK?"

So, yesterday afternoon, I had a Latte on the house, at Council staff cafe, with two delightful guests, one armed with a digital recorder. It felt like sitting with my parole officer.

I'm not really a Latte kinda guy, nevertheless, a free coffee is a free coffee. Plus, readers will know that I'm aiming to get my rate increase back in free lunches. Coffee by Councillors and Council staff that want to leak so hot juicy gossip, is also factored towards this target. I've only got another $268 to go. That's quite a few ham sandwiches.

Yesterday's 'off the record' chat, was interesting, to say the least. It was, as folk might expect, about my revelations on CairnsBlog over the last week, about emails I published that had originated from Cairns Regional Council.

You'd have to be stupid not to realise that such 'leaks' are very damaging for Council's image and their PR machine. This is the worst nightmare, not only that such emails are written, but they get made public so quickly. These folk will have learn't a good hard lesson this week, and even if messages are deleted from a email system, they in fact never really are. Oh, the joy of the internet.

No doubt Mayor Val got a de-brief as I left the building, however I doubt that I'm that influential around the corridors, but with around 1,700 regulars (about 1,000 a day) who visit my cyber home, it's good to see some in Council acknowledge that this Blog is part of the local democratic debate. A scan of my daily statistics machine, shows there are a number of regular log-ins from Council IP addresses.

However, it is nice to establish better access to some of the key folk at Spence Street, and this may provide my readers with more balance, fair reporting, and nice stories about Sno Bonneau. Nah, only joking!

After all, they say you should keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

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