This entry was posted on
Friday, September 5th, 2008 at
10:27 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.
I’m just going through some data and I’ve happened across a little something that I missed in an earlier conversation….
The other day, Jennie Rigg was giving me stick for pursuing Iain over his ongoing lies, instead of just ignoring* him.
(*Ignoring him and thereby – in theory – rendering his efforts inert. Once the trend is a little more universal, of course.)
Now, I do not want to pick on Jennie, I don’t want to make a big thing of this, and I can see and understand the temptations involved. I will also readily admit that I have it much easier than most other political bloggers, as I am a long way from having to struggle for an audience.
(Because of the way many people seeking to cloud this issue have been playing this, I need to waste a sentence here to point out that the latter observation is not a dig. At anyone.)
But c’mon… what is this?
“The best thing you can do – the best thing we ALL can do – is ignore [Iain Dale]. The more people talk about him, the more he becomes interesting. If we all stop talking about him (and yeah, I know, I’ve been guilty of that myself the past few days) then he ceases to be relevant.” – Jennie Rigg, Aug 31 (source)
What Jennie refers to in the above comment is a criticism of Dale over Facebook pokery, but what appears below is an extract from the post she refers to earlier in the conversation (i.e. the little something that I missed). In that post, it turns out that she completely fails to ignore Iain Dale and instead encourages her readers to play his reindeer games. This is not “talking about” Iain Dale but actively fuelling his main attention-seeking machine (which, ingeniously, runs on other peoples’ wishes for more attention):
“Iain Dale wants your votes for political blog of the year. I’d be very amused if nobody at all voted, but there’s little chance of that, and I’d probably be more amused if lots of liberal and leftie blogs made it into his charts. Vote Mortimer! Of course, for your vote to be eligible, it has to be for a blog that’s already on the TP blogroll. You can submit blogs to the blogroll here [link].” – Jennie Rigg, Jul 21 (source)
When Iain Dale is not passing his poll off as an unscientific bit of fun, he is bolstering it with claims that it is representative, and he would not be able to do this if enough people from the left refused to take part in it in any way. For a signal of the importance of this point is to Iain, note how Iain plays down the importance of any boycott in his final flourish.
Jennie may have a point when she says that my attempts to highlight the flaws behind the poll merely promote the poll itself (and it is a compelling point, as Iain Dale is a consummate bullshit artist, resilient even to evidence that he himself has published proving him to be a cheat), but her capacity to argue that point with any credibility goes up in a wee puff of smoke when she participates in the poll herself… right down to carrying a badge for the result on her blog:
So if any blogger who didn’t participate in Iain’s poll and isn’t carrying one of his little badges of approval on their website wants to have a go and pick up where Jennie left off, the floor is open.
Otherwise, I still say that Dale’s deeply flawed poll warrants scrutiny over weary acceptance.
UPDATE – Bugger. I note that I posted this at the same time that Jennie was announcing that that she was taking a pre-conference break. Still, it does nothing to change the fact that she’s left an opening, so do step forward if you think you can fill it. I’m sure we can stick to the point while leaving any comments on Jennie’s specific actions for later, when she’s around and able to have her say on it.