On Iain Dale and Total Politics Top Blogs 2009
July 27, 2009 5 Comments
The ol’ chap down at Left Outside has it spot on about the Total Politics Top Blogs 2009 poll. Taking his advice from the well-meaning Tim Ireland he can see why calls for a total boycott are praiseworthy; they simply serve to dip Iain Dale into blogospheric formaldehyde (though he didn’t use these words) and credit him with way too much due, mentioning not the fact that his blog is “sponsored by APCO Worldwide, a pro-tobacco PR company with a history of astro-turfing“.
Its quite clear that we need to qualify this sort of criticism, but hang on. There is not only Iain Dale on the blogosphere, should we not, if we wanted to, surpress the urge to add his blog to our top ten and give other bloggers who we may feel are more deserving our praise?
Some will say Dale’s proximity to Total Politics doesn’t allow for this kind of protest vote, but the argument seems to get too silly, and will eventually tail off into how we should all stop buying this and that because its sponsored by this and that outfit of neo-transsexual nazi child porn cohorts who are in some way related to Uri Geller.
As much as I think buying fuel from Esso or gruel from McDonalds is ethically displeasing, I don’t think protest against Dale like this would be as kindly as other forms of pressure groupery.
I’m again with Left Outside when he says “I don’t think it’s enough to stop me joining in. I love a good old fashioned popularity contest.”
But I went one further, I voted for Dale.
I voted (for all the blogs I voted for), not out of any interest in behind-the-scenes narratives, or pinches and punches at the right-wing, but because I use the blog to widen my knowledge of politics, and since it is this medium of information that is likely to take over usual news styles, I would like my top 10 to be at the forefront of this revolution, in spite of possible reservations I have about their character.
As well as being a simple means of communication, political blogging should be about substance, not being held by whip or blackmail, by party line or man sans spine. If we look too deep into personality, we risk turning into the mindless crap of Guido Fawkes.
After all, Dale will often have something nice about politicians who I like, say here, and reveal their departure from politics as an exclusive, and this cannot be beaten.
My list is as follows (nothing controversial here):
1. Liberal Conspiracy
2. Bob Piper
3. Harry’s Place
4. Bickerstaffe Record
5. A blog from the backroom
6. Iain Dale
7. And another thing
8. Shiraz Socialist
9. Bob From Brockley
10. Hadleigh Roberts
Although this does not exhaust my list of first reads on a Saturday morning.
And needless to say, Daniel Hannan’s blog for me comes about 6, 675, 573th in this country because he is disgraceful. He asked recently, how should he react to meeting Nick Griffin? Why not like any other fascist he meets, take up his cause and ask people to vote for his party.