Thursday, April 02, 2009

Just a tad parochial

On the whole I spend less energy attacking other bloggers than the boss does, not least because I run into them fairly regularly in London and it is hard to attack people in those circumstances. However, one cannot deny that, for the most part, the British blogosphere is just a tad parochial, as the boss wrote quite recently.

Yesterday evening I was at an event for right-wing bloggers, organized by the Adam Smith Institute, an admirable institution by and large. There were two speakers and a fairly extensive question and answer session. The first speaker was Guido Fawkes of Order-Order, who explained in some detail how one can be a successful blogger just like he was.

Guido is certainly successful in that he is invited to the BBC and is taken moderately seriously by the Westminster Village where several of his stories, particularly about MPs' spending have developed into rather big ones. How many hits he gets he alone knows as there is no counter on the site.

Guido blogs exclusively about Westminster politics, diverging from time to time in a very diverting way on such subjects as anti-capitalist protestors getting beaten up by traders they incautiously attack.

The other speaker was John Redwood who told us in typically politician-like ringing tones how incredibly courageous and successful he was as a blogger. People seemed to want to read him, he explained because they did not believe the government's spin. On the whole, people do not believe any politician's spin but, to be fair to the Vulcan, when it comes to economic matters, he does strike out away from the obsessively paternalistic and statist consensus.

Incidentally, it is the same John Redwood who complained about nasty things being said about him as a politician.

Mr Redwood also blogs almost entirely about Westminster matters though, on occasion, he does talk about wider economic issues and he did come up with one posting about Russia and Georgia in which he took the pro-Russian side (but I have me doots about the authorship of that posting). [I wrote about that on the now defunct BrugesGroupBlog.]

Neither in the speeches nor in the discussion was there any reference to matters outside Britain and, especially, the Westminster bubble. The dreaded E-word was not mentioned. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Well, who is going to blog about that? Transn ational organizations? Samizdata writes about them regularly and, errm, that's it, really. Well, of course, we do.

Mr Redwood informed us that he was not using the blog for career purposes. Just as well really, as I do not thinkg the words career and Redwood can be put into the same sentence. But he wants to use it for his own campaigns, one of which will be under a Conservative government for greater power to Parliament as against Ministers.

Ahem, Mr Redwood, is there not another reason why Parliament has little power at the moment? Are you going to campaign about that, too, or not so much?

Still, it was nice to see people like Tim Worstall, Brian Micklethwait, Charles Crawford and others of that ilk.