Sunny Hundal said this: A while ago, I said pretty-well the opposite here and followed it up a few months later here.
I do think that Sunny labours under a misapprehension about what 'winning the debate' is all about. Is it about being right among your peer group? I think that one of the most common misapprehensions around is that people believe that their political peer group is much much bigger than it is. I think such groups rarely number more than two or three people in reality.
The 'everyone agrees with me' fallacy.
Winning arguments? Nah. Only convincing yourself. There is the other sort of 'winning arguments' - appealing to your opponents fears, mustering forces that your they can't resist, and so on. This doesn't happen in blog comments boxes, and activists don't usually do it by 'winning arguments' or 'having a debate'. And if this is true, I can't see that Sunny has any points left.
Another thing: There are loads of Tory bloggers, all creating a cacophony. The moment that the Tories find themselves in trouble with the pollsters, these bloggers will become a liability. We, in the Labour Party once had a 'lively internal debate in which activists could Have Their Say. It was in the 1980s. I was there. It was absolutely fucking awful.
Labour does not need lefty bloggers to achieve what righty bloggers are achieving. Quite the opposite. There *is* a role for the left-blogosphere though. It's based upon an understanding of how political parties should organise themselves in the context of strong independent representatives.
Our role should be that we can provide a good, high-quality conversation that elected Labour representatives can eavesdrop upon. We don't have to involve the party in this or discuss it with them at all. It is, actually, what we are doing at the moment (when we aren't twatting on about the irrelevances of court politics).
And this - twatting on about court politics - is largely what Tory bloggers are doing - almost exclusively. Lefty-bloggers will do a better job than their opponents - as long as they don't heed siren calls to somehow imagine that a blog can be a useful activist tool.