MY LAST post seems to have antagonised at least a couple of Labour-supporting readers because they object to my indulging Iain Dale’s blog memes. They also seem to have a problem with the content of my blogroll, specifically that it includes Iain’s and other blogs which are antipathetic to Labour.
I knew this would raise its head at some point – my own elephant in the sitting room, as it were. One of the reasons I started this site was to try to redress the obvious imbalance of right- v left-wing blogs out there, specifically the scarcity of good Labour Party-supporting sites (blogs which bang on about Iraq and PFI might well be left-wing, but they’re really not much help).
What LabourMatters seems to be suggesting is that bloggers should only recommend blogs which are written from their own particular political perspective, and that Labour bloggers shouldn’t recommend any other sort of blog to their readers. My own blogroll features blogs which I read, not necessarily blogs with which I agree (the clue is in the title: “Blogs I read…”). Is it really being seriously suggested that we shouldn’t read anything unless it’s written by someone in our own party? I’m not necessarily endorsing any blog on my blogroll, though I hope I’m discerning enough not to read those which aren’t well written, humorous or interesting.
Let’s face it: Guido and Iain Dale between them get more traffic than the rest of the political blogosphere put together, and there’s a reason for that. These are well-written and entertaining sites. I know that sticks in the craw of most of us lefties, but instead of discouraging others from reading them, how about we try to compete and produce some sites that others actually want to read, instead of sites which people feel they ought to be reading out of loyalty to the Labour Party?
It’s only because Dale and Guido have done so well in terms of breaking stories and offering unique perspectives that the wider mass media have started to notice blogs and to take them seriously. So, yes, people should read them, and I don’t apologise for saying that.
Apart from anything else, it is surely healthy to read others’ political perspectives.
Should Labour only listen to itself? Yeah, because things worked out really well the last time that happened, didn’t they?