Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Nasty Blogs Story

It seems fair to say that LabourList is a completely failed venture. And also true that in the UK the right-wing side of politics is better represented in the "blogosphere" than the left.

But the problem LabourList tried to solve was a false one. There is no shortage of places for the current Labour government to present its policies. It controls all the levers of official communications and can get its spokespeople on the BBC at any time.

The problem here is the lack of a wide-ranging multiplexed blog in which different ideas and concerns from those on the progressive left can be worked out - an in opposition to government policy if necessary. Eight years ago the earliest "power blogs" in the US were largely right-wing - Drudge, Andrew Sullivan, and The Corner.

What emerged in opposition were DailyKos and The Huffington Post. These kinds of blogs are more or less what we need in Britain now.

What LabourList had rapidly become was a more sterile and tedious version of National Review's The Corner combined, it now seems, with an aspiration to the politics of personal destruction practiced by Drudge.

Let LabourList die and let's try to find a more interesting and open platform for left-wing politics online.

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