Over on the More Bristol News news thread a discussion’s been sparked about Simon Caplan and his infamous website.
For posterity, here’s the Evening Cancer story about it from 2004:
Council boss apologises over list of hates on web
Bristol Evening Post (England) – November 25, 2004
A senior Bristol council official, whose job includes helping councillors promote a positive image of the city, has issued an apology after a complaint about his personal website.
Simon Caplan the city council’s head of corporate communications, listed his dislikes on a website for amateur musicians and songwriters.
A complaint was made to the Tory group on the council after it was spotted that the list included “racists, fascists and right-wing politics and politicians in general”.
Mr Caplan has apologised for any “misunderstanding” over the list.
The 43-year-old said he only intended to refer to racists, fascists and extreme right-wing groups – not any politician in mainstream politics.
The list of his dislikes on the now-deleted website read:
“1. Rap and Hip Hop because in general it simply isn’t music and too often its main proponents glorify macho posturing and violence.
“2. Tacky pop music that’s deliberately marketed at 10- to 13-year-olds purely for profit.
“3. Racists, fascists and right-wing politics and politicians in general.
“4. Websites that take forever to download!”
The person who complained argued that Mr Caplan’s role includes being a council spokesman who should be politically neutral.
Mr Caplan, who is understood to earn between £53,000 and £58,000 a year, said: “This website was not generally circulated. It was part of a ‘ring’ web of music lovers’ websites.
“Somebody raised it with the Tory leader Peter Abraham because they felt it implied I didn’t like politicians of a right-wing persuasion. They took it to imply that I didn’t like people on the right wing of mainstream politics.
“I made it quite clear to Councillor Abraham that it was never my intention to imply that at all. I have been doing that very effectively and I have no qualms with working with any politician in mainstream politics.
“What I meant was that I dislike extreme right-wing politics and extreme right-wing politicians in general. I was not referring to any politician in general.”
Tory leader Peter Abraham said: “When I approached Mr Caplan about this, he assured me he would remove the website at once and issue an apology for any offence caused.
“I have received that apology and I don’t want to comment any further.”
Although it should be stressed the story was actually broken by our old muckers at The Bristolian. Here’s their take published on 21 November 2004:
Carole Caplan Watch (2)
An extraordinary spat has developed between Bunter Eddy and Simon “Carole” Caplan, the city council’s press spokesman.
Amazingly Caplan had put up a personal website on which he talked of his dislike of “racism, fascism and rightwing politics”.
This proved too much for Bunter who notified his leader Fuhrer Abrahams who demanded its immediate removal.
This has now been done – thus proving after all that Caplan was completely wrong in his belief that right-wingers are all free-speech denying bullying dictators.