Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Blears Bleats On About Truthful Blogs

They're at it again, all part of the Downing Street Orwellian strategy to silence the political bloggers. The latest attack comes from Chipmunk, Hazel Blears, who bleats on about the bloggers who don't fit into her cosy little world.

Political blogs create a "culture of cynicism" says Blears, according to the Telegraph.

In the world according to Blears, too much commentary is provided by a "self-appointed 'political class' that leaves ordinary people excluded and the mainstream media must adopt a more 'responsible manner'."

Why is it that only political bloggers are 'self-appointed'? Does that rule apply to the explosion of a very healthy blogsphere at the Daily Telegraph, IndependentGuardian and the rest?

And what the heck does she know about 'ordinary people'. There are not many of those in the Westminster bubble.

Blogs she says, are mostly written by "people with disdain for the political system and politicians".

Er no. It's not a disdain for the political system nor all politicians - only Blears and the New Labour gang. The Orange Party has never heard a bad word said about Vince Cable, for example.

And the diatribe goes on.

"Perhaps because of the nature of the technology, there is a tendency for political blogs to have a 'Samizdat' style," she says. "The most popular blogs are right-wing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes."

Dale is a respected Conservative commentator and Guido lives in the real world - that will boost their visitor numbers and advertising revenue no end.

When will this silly woman get it through her head. The media and political blogsphere has its fair share of political views, for sure, but they more or less balance out.

"Perhaps this is simply anti-establishment. Blogs have only existed under a Labour government. Perhaps if there was a Tory government, all the leading blogs would be left-of-centre?"

Wrong again. New Labour has been in power since the internet was in its infancy. That's why blogs have only existed under a New Labour government.

The Orange Party is a new kid on the blogging block but sorry to burst your bubble Blears, it is both independent and very much left of centre. And it comes with a lifetime of real journalism under its belt, crossing swords with much bigger fish than Blears - though that's not saying much. 

The Orange Party will be in love with Labour, quite happy to cuddle up to Cameron and sidle up to Salmond, if they deserve it. It's the New Labour Project that gets up the nose of many ordinary voting folk.

The Blears attack seems to end with a warning, almost a veiled threat to silence the political blogsphere.

"Until political blogging 'adds value' to our political culture, by allowing new voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and despair."

That seems to herald a disturbing new breed of bloggers born out of Mandleson's new department of spin.

Curiosity and scepticism is healthy. Political control of the media, in whatever form, is not. 

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