In a follow-up to the his piece on Cameron backtracking on the
constitutional Lisbon Treaty, Tim Montgomerie was basking in the limelight, recording the "blogosphere" reaction to his revelation ... which had actually been circulating for some time - starting in early October.
Tim's idea of the "blogsphere", however, is three MSM "clogs", Iain Dale and Guido. Despite two reaction pieces on this blog, one from my co-editor and the other from myself, EU Referendum - the premier anti-EU site - does not exist. It does not get a mention, much less a link.
We find the same with Defence of the Realm. We get a lot of links from US, Canadian and other foreign sites (and some of the smaller British blogs), but never any from the self-proclaimed "big-hitters" in the British political blogosphere. And that is despite a readership in the corridors of power that the likes of Dale would kill for. (How do you think we are so well-informed?)
But that is how it is. We've broken ranks many times, and criticised blogs – on the basis that no-one is beyond criticism. But, while the blogs love to criticise the MSM, they can't take it themselves. Step outside the claque and they go shrieking to mummy, and then bury their heads deeply in the sand, from which posture they commune with themselves – and only themselves – through the only orifices left exposed to the air.
Largely, the "independent" political blogosphere has chosen to shackle itself to the corpse of the MSM, which is why it accepts the "clogs" into its closed little club. It is also why the British blogosphere largely follows rather than makes the agenda, and has neither the reach nor the influence that characterises the US blogosphere.
And, do you know what? We don't give a damn. We are on the outside. That is where we belong, and are happy to be there. We tell it as we see it, not for the self-referential claque which demands as the price of its approval a degree of conformity and an absence of informed criticism that no censor could impose.
Just occasionally though, it is quite fun tweaking their tails ... whence they resolutely ignore us with even more determination, ramming their heads further into the sand. But we don't do it too often these days – it is too much of a waste of energy. As the media start picking up on Dave's betrayal though, as it is now doing, things are going to get very dirty and very nasty. That will sort the sheep from the goats, and the "clogs" from the blogs. And we know where we stand. We know our place.
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