Opening Statement, of sorts

The quote which the title of this here blog is based upon is attributed to Harold Wilson “I’m an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat”. Chances are the quote outlives him, but nonetheless the message is as apt as it was back then for Wilson.

An odd thing, some might say, to start a blog in support of the Labour Party this week, the week in which The Telegraph snidely asked was this the worst week for labour since the party came to power?

The week that saw Labour make doltish decisions regarding the Ghurkhas, appearing momentarily to the right of the BNP.

The week that saw The Guardian ask in a poll who readers would like to see as the next Labour Party leader (Harman, whose leaked emails yesterday spoke of the panic that Labour does not have enough candidates to put forward for the European elections next month, way in the 90% vote over Alan Johnson).

The week, also, that Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown said frustrated Labour MP’s may defect to his party as a consequence of Labour’s shift to the left (!?!?).

But, against all the odds, this week doesn’t make the need for Labour support any less attractive (actually, no, it does make it less attractive, but it is no less necessary). Peter Wilby pointedly asked the question recently “Why are the most successful blogs on the right?” While mourning for those blogospheric leftists, he was careful not to include Derek Draper’s labourlist as one of those blogs “limping along on the left”. But it would’ve mattered little now anyway, since Draper has resigned labourlist over the continued unease. And all because of leaked emails, pounced upon from where else but Guido Fawkes, a tory blogger.

Perhaps Wilby’s own recent blog, for the staggers, should be seen as a call-to-arms for the left-wing blogger. Why are the tories more popular online? One comment in response to Wilby was that while the left dominated comedy in the 80’s alongside a tory government, the right dominate the blogosphere with a labour government. Wise words, but this should not be a put-off for the left (if anything, for the reason that I dispute this claim made in the aforementioned telegraph article, that Labour have made any effective shift to the left).

In whatever measure this week will affect the decision of the electorate in the upcoming Euro elections, or influence the electorate in the general election next year, the blogging world cannot be left to right alone, just as, in the words of Tony Benn, broadcasting is really too important to be left to the broadcasters.

If the net is the right’s breeding ground, then the left should trample on it. But the point is that the net is not, and should not be, exclusive to the right, just because there is a Labour government.

To Wilby’s point, nay, challenge, that the left wing blogger is limping, I offer to the blogosphere my contribution. And although I am optimistic that a future spell of leftist blogs can dominate the web, simultaneous to a Labour government, I really do feel I should take a raincoat along with me.

Alas, Raincoat Optimism.


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