And, if the MSM does not have the maturity to lead the way, it is for the bloggers to take over and demand a serious debate on a situation which is becoming ever-more unsettling. As bloggers, you can indulge in your idle tittering and puerile humour or you can act as grown ups. The choice is yours and your readers will be your judges.
That does, as I say, leave the bloggers. You – collectively – can continue to play your little games. Or you can show up the media and the politicians and make the running. Which is it to be?
Or this one.
This is how the establishment works: nothing so blunt as censorship or harassment. We did not rule half the planet and come away learning nothing – we bribe the compliant, divide and rule and then marginalise the opposition.
Welcome to the British political "blogsphere", a scene with all the power and vitality of a neutered tomcat.
Or this one.
Unfortunately, much of the British political blogging scene has caught the same disease, which is hardly surprising, dominated as it is by the same self-appointed claque of wannabes, "insiders" and groupies, their posts infected with ego-driven "wheneyes" and "eyeams", the phrases, "When I..." and "I am..." invariably to be found in the first paragraphs, if not the first sentences.
Thus, unlike the US blogs, the most hard-edged of which deal with real politics, we see the obsession with "trivial pursuits", the same diet of gossip, backstabbing and character assassination that sustains the dead tree sellers and the airwave polluters. No wonder the MSM sustain and promote their favoured few – they come from the same festering cesspit. Little minds stink alike.
Or, of course, here.
The story though has not been picked up by any other media outlets and, although we picked up the original story last week the British blogosphere – especially amongst the self-important "big hitter" political blogs – mirrors the situation in the MSM.
In fact, as we have remarked before, the British political blogosphere so closely parallels the MSM, with the same diet of trivia, political introspection and self-congratulation, that we might as well not have it. For them, also – in the main – "Europe" is off the agenda, confined, like Booker so often is, to the margins.
Really, I share Richard's frustration over the Defence problems and the awfulness of the EU, but currently I have neither the time nor the resources to look into these things as he does; for me, Richard is a resource; and, given that he has recently been at pains to point out what a massive hit-rate EU Referendum has, what would be the point of my becoming all serious (or more than I am)?
Much of this anger has stemmed from the time of publication of Iain Dale's little list and, indeed, Richard seems to aim a sideswipe whenever possible at the moment.
The trouble is that not only does all of this make North sound like a petulant ten year old, but it is actively counter-productive. Firstly because it denigrates North's credibility and impartiality and makes him look, frankly, like a bitch. Further, it merely endorses the MSM's preferred picture of the blogosphere as a whole bunch of knee-jerk, immature, ignorant, mono-maniacal losers with massive chips on their shoulders.
Secondly, and more importantly, whether he has aimed for it or not, Iain is starting to become one of "the establishment" (presumably employed by "The Man"), the "safe pair of hands" that the MSM are happy enough to interview. And it is now unlikely that Richard will get onto a programme through a recommendation (as these things so often work)—and thus be able to plead his particular concerns—because people thin that he might start throwing a hissy fit and banging his head up and down in a puddle.
Just think about it: six months ago, blogs were barely mentioned: now there are news stories popping up all over the place: MSM "blogs" are appearing at the rate of about 10,000,000,000 every second and, whether Richard likes it or not, Guido and Iain—with their diet of swift, sharp posts and insider gossip and tittle-tattle happened to be the ones who were picked up* when Prescott went through the mincer**.
There's still a long way for blogging to go, but there are certain people who seem to be having good ideas and pushing the pace of change and recognition. But then, contemptuous as he is of the MSM, Richard would have no desire to be part of all of this: tell me, sir, is it that you want to be mainstream and aren't or that the mainstream shouldn't exist? Are you, in parlance that I might understand, a EUsceptic or a EUnihilist...?
Anyway, it's starting to come to something of a head over at the EU Referendum forum; back in July, Richard wrote this about Conservative Home:
Tim's site is partially funded by or through Maude and there are thus limits as to how far he (Tim) can go - to that extent he most certainly is "semi-approved".
The comments system is allowed to run because it provides CCHQ with an insight as to where their opposition lies, and the nature of it, plus acting as a "lightning conductor" to defuse some of the venom.
There is also the issue that, if the comments were too heavily moderated, the opposition would cry foul, giving them more ammunition. However, you can bet that, come election time, the more candid comments will never see light of day.
On the same thread, yesterday, Iain posted a reply which has obviously been long in the construction.
I am still at a loss to know quite how Tim Montgomerie and I have upset Richard North so much but he is becoming increasingly delusional. I had a lot of respect for this blog, but when one of its authors becomes completely hysterical and makes libellous allegations which he cannot substantiate, it really does call into question the rest of what he writes.
Above, he has alleged that Francis Maude partly funds ConservativeHome. Tim Montgomerie has asked him to withdraw the totally unfounded allegation or to provide evidence. Richard has taken the cowards [sic] way out and has chosen to do neither.
If Richard seriously believes that ConservativeHome is in part funded by CCHQ or the Party Chairman he would probably also understand it if they were demanding their money back. Tim's site is hardly seen as a hotbed of Cameroonian loyalty is it?
Come on Richard, calm down and admit when you've gone too far. In your heart you know you have.
Hmmm, it's handbags at dawn, chaps.
And, meanwhile, back at the ranch, the MSM are laughing their arses off...
UPDATE: as usual, The Englishman is far less prolix than I: one might even call it pithy...
* Bizarrely, as was I, utterly unjustly.
** Is it just me, or is anyone else surprised that he managed to keep his job after all that? Mistresses, Dome corruption, cowboy boots... I know it's NuLabour but still...