Thursday, July 09, 2009

The great divide

In this topsy-turvey world, there seems to be another of those dividing lines emerging – those who are interested (and concerned) about the increasingly lethal campaign in Afghanistan and those who are determinedly ignoring it.

On the one side, for a change, is the British media, which has devoted an unprecedented amount of space and time to the campaign, with the tardy intervention of the Clegg, who at least has political antennae sensitive enough to realise that it is an issue which has some considerable public resonance.

Apart then from the occasional, formulaic intervention of Liam Fox, who has yet to decide whether he has anything useful to say, the running is being made by the government, with Ainsworth's keynote speech to Chatham House yesterday, and by an increasing number of military and ex-military commentators, as well as specialist journalists.

On the other hand, as far as the opposition goes, this seems to be a politics-free zone, and especially as far as the British political blogosphere is concerned. Although US and Canadian blogs are full of comment, one struggles to find anything but the occasional reference on the British side of the pond. It is odd that the MSM, so derided by the blogs, is making the running, while the blogosphere is opting out.

Clearly, though – from our readers' comments on the forum, and the hit-rate, there is significant interest. My publisher also tells me that Ministry of Defeat is "moving" after a slow start, further suggesting that there is real public concern over what has been a neglected issue.

We thus remain committed to running with the debate, although it is slightly unbalancing the blog, for which I apologise. This also means that other subjects are not getting the coverage they deserve, but we'll try and pick up on some of the news in the occasional round-up piece.

As the current torrent of coverage dies down, as and when, normal service – if there is such a thing on this blog – will be resumed.