Friday, August 24, 2007

Blog navelgazing

The Conservative Party Reptile has a reasonable assessment of the state of the British political blogosphere. I would take issue with one point.
Putting that more clearly - blogging is largely an anti-establishment thing, and the left are currently the establishment.

This is temporary and reversible. Read the Goldberg file from the 1990s, and indeed the Drudge report and the Instapundit and 101 other right-leaning blogs from the Clinton era. The wisdom at the time was that the right were on top, and the Democrats were just useless at this internet thing. Spool on through two Republican presidencies and the story is the opposite - Web 2.0 is supposed to be all about the Democrats.
But ultimately, the trends of the internet will all look very different if and when a Conservative Government comes into power.

Now, it may be that I will be proven wrong, but I do not believe that the Left will come to dominate. Britain is rather different from the US, its politics not so polarised. The real dominant force in British political blogging is that of the libertarians and the Conservatives are not libertarian (indeed, it can be argued that they have become even less so than they were).

Whilst the Conservative Iain Dale may find less to complain about, I am not sure that Guido necessarily will (although perhaps a Conservative government will prove a litmus test?). But these two are only the biggest; it is the libertarians who are the widest.

Your humble Devil will, of course, continue to lambast all corrupt, ignorant and perfidious politicians of whatever stripe, party, sex or race. I have no doubt that the vast majority of my libertarian blogging colleagues will also continue to do so: after all, we will always be anti-establishment; a minarchist libertarian is, almost by definition, anti-state and, until the state abolishes itself, peeling away the rotting flesh and leaving only the core, we will continue to attack and savage it.

And the state will never abolish itself voluntarily, so we libertarians will always be here.


Andrew Ian Dodge said...

I am betting the libertarian bloggers will have even more the grumble about. They will make sure to examine every single thing a Conservative governments does to see if its authoritarian or not.

Oliver McCarthy said...

This is just barmy stuff. The Tory Party has become a bizarre libertarian cult, in which "conservatism" means "freedom" and "traditional Tory background" means being a former barrow-boy from Brixton. "Freedom" is hardly going to discourage teenagers in Liverpool (not to mention Hertfordshire) from murdering each other. Quite the opposite, in fact!

Neal Asher said...

If the Conservatives had become a bizarre Libertarian cult, I'd be a damned sight more likely to vote for them. And Libertarianism doesn't mean you castrate the police, it means you stop the state from stifling you. As things stand, even though they are part of the state, the police are also being stifled by it. Maybe if they weren't spending ten hours out of every twelve filling in forms they could be out on the street stopping people from murdering each other. Though more likely they'd be a couple of streets away in a safer area arresting smokers.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

I don't quite understand what Oliver is on about- he's either wrong, or I'm thick as pighshit (the latter being statistically bob on, usually).

Anyway, I wish that libertarian bloggers would make the distinction more often that the Conservatives aren't just one lumpen mass of single-mindedness, when the reality is that it is a 'broad church' of thought and association. As DK knows, there are libertarians in the Conservative Party-a growing number, it seems, and a healthy number of them on the blogosphere. Some of us disagree with other parts of the Party just as much as libertarians outside of the Party do- libertarians join the Party for their own reasons, which on balance they believe the most expedient (not necessarily the best) way to affect the agenda. They might be right, they might be wrong, but they almost definitely aren't people to disregard or offend.

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

We shall see. The internet was dominated by libertarian geeks. Now social networking sites Bebo, Myspace and Facebook are so easy and user-friendly you don't have to be a smart libertarian to use the internet effectively. ;)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

As yet "they" havn't figured out how to control the medium. They can switch off the internet but that is about all. The only other thing "they" can do is to allow it to fill up with so much gobshite that nobody can make head nor tail of webcameron.

An unforseen (I think) aspect of political blogging is that you, the Devil, are dependent upon your reputation which, rightly, in your case, is a very solid one. Assuming that you wish to effect change in wider society, your chief weapon is credibility and knowledge. Your two weapons are credibility, knowledge and a fanatical devotion to the truth. Your three weapons..

(sorry, this turned into a Python sketch. Sorry.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...


What's happened to the LUK site?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Re: LUK. The server seems to have gone completely tonto. I am dealing with it and the site should hopefully be back up by the end of the week.


Sir James Robison said...

Struggling to get into this one.

Tim J said...

But wasn't the prime blogging force in the US the libertarian right as well? I'm absolutely sure that if a Tory Government gets into office, then the libertarian bloggers won't let up on them - there might even be an increase of the disappointed expectations variety - but I think that it will mainly trigger a re-energising of the left - who will be offered a stationary target.