Friday, June 03, 2011

Political blogging

Rather amusingly, the self-important Business Insider has published a post giving us novices the lowdown on "The 10 People You Have To Follow To Understand British Politics". Thereafter follow details of ten political bloggers, starting with Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale, followed by Ellie Gellard and Will Straw, son of former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

The last of the ten is the BBC's Nick Robinson and, I suppose, if you live inside the bubble, the choice offered is reasonable, albeit that Dale and a couple of the other bloggers named no longer actually blog.

However, if you had really wanted to know something about political blogging, straight from the horse's arse, you could have signed up for the Total Politics seminar in March where, for a mere £306 (inc VAT and lunch) you could have heard from such luminaries as Iain Dale, Harry Cole, who now runs Guido Fawkes, Laurence Durnan, who blogs at Political Scrapbook, and the claque's favourite, Phil Hendren, who blogs as Dizzy Thinks (last posted on 30 May).

If you live outside the bubble, though, you could hardly do better than look at Orphans of Liberty a newly-formed group blog which brings together over forty independents, in an attempt to make sense of the notoriously unruly and often cliquish blogosphere. The very first post is a classic.

As for our own attempt, the Independent Political Bloggers blog, I had never intended it to be competition for the likes of Orphans. Rather, I had it in mind that it could be a blog about bloggers and blogging. With the clogs and the claque busy promoting each other and sucking up to Guido and Hannan, I thought it would be a good idea to put the not inconsiderable weight of EURef behind promoting the independents who are often frozen out of the love-fest.

The site is genuinely open to all-comers – any independent blogger can join. We have nine members so far, and more in the offing. All have equal rights and I'm not going to tell them what to do – not that I could. Let the site develop in its own way, and acquire its own character.

Meanwhile, Max has his five-a-day up and Old Rightly has a piece about the EU government. I've added a blogroll, which has the first 100 sites on it. I hate that type of finicky work, but it's done, showing the ten most recent posts. And, as much as I can, I'm continuing to trawl the web looking for more, and am grateful to readers for pointing to others.

Today's collection runs to six, including a blog dealing with one local authority – but that is also politics – and the Justice of the Peace blog.
Here, I have to give a health warning – listing does not imply support or approval. We are getting into murky territory with some of the blogs I've been looking at. Now, I have a genuine dilemma, and need guidance. Should this listing be selective? Should we include all independents and, if not, what should be the selection criteria? Should we include left-wing sites?

The one thing I cannot do, though, is offer a ranking. I'm not going down the Dale or Wikio route. You can't herd cats. How can you rank them?