There’s a good letter in today’s paper from a Londoner called Chris Trude saying....
I’ve left out an introductory gush about how wonderful Labour are, and I’m not as convinced as Chris about Labour’s successes. But s/he still makes a very good point. One that regular visitors here will be used to reading.
"… Britain is an overwhelmingly conservative country dominated by a conservative establishment, with a conservative media that day in day out bleats out an anti-Blair/Labour message. .....
....It is journalists and newspapers - even the Guardian - which have consistently let down the working class by ensuring a climate of mistrust has surrounded the most progressive government in the past century. Ordinary people will tell you how successful the Labour government has been in tackling poverty and raising the standard of living for the vast majority. Unfortunately, working-class views are never heard in our media."
And like Shuggy, I’m consistently baffled by the left’s inability to grasp just how much the Labour leadership relish the opportunity to play to the right-wing gallery (this time on the question of Trident).
I share Shuggy's anti-nuke position. In fact, my view on lots of things haven’t changed since my days as an unreconstructed ‘80s spart. I’ve just realised that keeping quiet about this stuff is the only option. Large slices of the left serve only to make anyone who agrees with them look a complete tit.
I mention this as a preface to……
…..Dave Osler seems keen to respond to Iain Dale’s comments (in Tribune) about the relative stagnancy of the left-wing blogosphere.
Dave should take it with a pinch of salt IMHO.
While I’d accept that there is possibly a gap for a leftish version of Conservative Home. I’d suggest that most lefties with a brain and an RSS reader can construct their own version – and it would be better. I don’t need one site that compiles everything for me because I’ve got an RSS reader. If anything, a blog like this actually narrows the frame of reference for its users because they all end up reading and responding to the same stuff.
But the real substance of my disagreement with Dave here is his notion of what blogs are for, and what makes a good one. I think that Dave looks at this (as you would expect a journalist to do) in a journalistic way. The blogs he likes include his own (actually, fair enough - Dave is the far-left's premier blogger and he uses the site to publish original stuff that he may not have an immediate outlet for), and our mutual friend, Paul Anderson's Gauche (usually quiet while he catches up on his marking or that missed book-deadline).
I’d suggest (indeed, I have done before ) that bloggers are at their best when they are documenting events in a different way to the way journalists do. As you would expect journalists to be, Dave is preoccupied by numbers of visitors, his lack of comments, and the relative popularity of his blog.
Right wing bloggers are right to want to see US shock-jockery brought into everyone’s lives. As the letter writer (above) points out, populist politics, and the shabby way that journalists cover the subject is doing no-one any good. Blogging is only worthwhile if it raises the quality of debate.
Bloggers can help to change this. Whatever you think of the Euston Manifesto, one of the reasons that they are called the ‘decents’ is because this project is all about raising the standard of debate – particularly on the left. It shows what the blogosphere is capable of.
Even the Euston Manifesto’s critics (Dave being one of the more coherent of these) have acknowledged this.
So, Dave, if you want to wrest control of the left wing blogosphere, you could consider some site dedicated to improving the standards of your own lousy profession. But then, there’s probably only room for one group of ‘decents’.
Perhaps you should just roll over and sign the Euston Manifesto instead? ;-)