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Blair-bloggers on the warpath

It’s the way the blogosphere works. Something happens in your back yard. Instapundit picks it up and tells you about it, and you get to work. It, in this case being an article in the New Statesman called “Bloggers of the Left, Unite!”, by James Crabtree. The New Statesman not itself being very blog-friendly, Crabtree decided to put his piece up at the “iSociety” bit of one of his his own websites. Here’s how it ends.

Should the left worry? Definitely. The blogsphere is an example of Willard Quine’s coherence theory of truth: that things are true if they agree – or appear to agree – with other things that are held to be true. Right-wing bloggers are thus creating their own world, in which their truth exists often without debate. And the same may be about to happen in the UK. The journalist Stephen Pollard, the only British political blogger on the left, notes: “There are plenty of new British political blogs. And they are all – all – on the right.” But political blogging is in its infancy here. It remains up for grabs. Got a computer? Got a view? Get blogging. There is a war to be won.

Or lost.

“Blogsphere”? Is that what they’re going to call it?

There appear to be no links from iSociety to “all – all” – or even any-any of – those right wing Brit-blogs, nor to Instapundit nor to Andrew Sullivan, both also mentioned in the piece. Wouldn’t want people actually trying to find out for themselves how unthinkingly and unargumentatively right wing or not as the case may be said blogs might be. For someone declaring war, Crabtree seems somewhat reluctant actually to engage with his enemy. But I suppose that when the attacks do start to come, from real blogs, there will be links.

And as for Stephen Pollard being “on the left” … Smack in the Blairite centre middle, more like, and with all kinds of market bells and whistles attached. Ditto Crabtree, to judge by who’s paying for his web activities.

8 comments to Blair-bloggers on the warpath

  • Brian, you didn’t mention how hysterically funny this article is. I particularly like the bit about the bothersome “disconnection” between Europe and the US over Iraq which bloggers are only exacerbating (shame!), and the idea that the right ended up creating a blogosphere due to exclusion from the *proper* media where rightists would all *much* rather be, only they banned us (except they didn’t because we’re just being paranoid).

    PS I am not a rightist, I am a free woman.

  • Before I get Fisked across what it seems I am going to have to call the Blogosphere, can I just point out that I didn’t write this piece, and I don’t claim to be ‘on the left’. I’m a member of the Labour Party. That is not, as I am sure I do not need to point out to this readership, the same thing…
    And I don’t recall ever having said ‘all’ the blogs are on the right. I might have said it, but I don’t recall having said it. And if I did say it, I would have been a) drunk or b) plain wrong…

  • Question: Whatever happened to Tom Tomorrow, Cursor, TAPPED, CounterPunch, SpinSanity, Media Whores Online, etc.? These are just the ones off the top of my head. Perhaps the little pundit blogs at blogger.com are more right-wing than left, but the left seems to be fairly well integrated into the blogosphere.

    BTW, most left-wingers would include Libertarians in with the right-wing of politics, so that adds quite a few to the tally. Of course libertarians aren’t “right-wing” in the sense that it’s usually meant, but facts rarely stop anyone from writing / talking (this includes a lot of libertarians–it’s part of human nature, not political ideology).

  • I was going to say that Crabtree must be joking when he described that Stephen Pollard chap as being on the left, as Pollard writes pamphlets for the Adam Smith Institute, for goodness sake, which in left-wing terms is like being the nun who booked an Ann Summers party as a surprise treat for Mother Superior.

    Then I thought, oops, he’s commented himself. I can’t possibly say that. Then I thought, why not?

    Mr Crabtree really ought to have made mention of Chris Bertram’s thought-provoking blog Junius, before making so sweeping a statement. Being in favour of war on Saddam and against the Euro do not a right winger make.

  • It’s a pity you can’t edit these things. Now I have to have a whole separate comment box to correct a little error in my last one. Chris Bertram of Junius writes, “I am anti-Euro but not pro-war with Iraq (though as you know I thought the Afghan intervenion was the right thing to do). Not, obviously because I have anything to say in Saddam’s favour, but rather because (a) I think it is likely to bring about the only circumstances I can see where he’ll use his WMD and (b) because I think the people around Perle and Wolfowitz have a crazy agenda that will end in tears and Iraq is only item 1.”
    That’s what comes of doing comments while trying to reach over an attention-seeking cat.

  • Tom Burroughes

    Nice piece, Brian. It strikes me as daft for elements on the left to make out that the Blogosphere is some sort of right-wing preserve since there is nothing to stop folk of all manner of ideological persuasions from setting up blogs. The truth is, however, that there clearly is a tilt towards libertarianianism in much of blogland for the simple reason that mainstream media outlets are generally hostile to that worldview so libertarians have resorted to internet-based vendors of information to disseminate their views. As commentators on this article have pointed out, there are already quite a few leftist blogs out there, such as Brendan O’Neill, for example. The more the merrier.

  • I didn’t think the whole piece was as contemptable as some here seem to think. Though James did manage to quote 40,000 readers as though it were a trivial sum of visitors in a day for a home made website, he did capture the power blogging has to cascade compelling knowledge, quickly often amongst vast numbers of engaged people quickly.

    He may have been trying to motivate the left to get off their collective asses and move into the territory (provocation seems to be stock in trade amongst erstwhile bloggers). I have some considerable sympathy with his citation of imbalance in a lot of the current arguments in and between weblogs.

    Multiplicity of views has got to be good for the development of any argument, no matter what direction you are coming in from.

    Surely that requires a healthy engagement from the left as well as the right?