Blogs: reality, illusion and potential

This entry was posted on
Monday, February 21st, 2005
9:29 am and is filed
under UK General Election 2005.

Iain Duncan Smith – Bloggers will rescue the right: …Britain hasn’t yet had much experience of electronic campaigning. But the blogosphere will become a force in Britain, and it could ignite many new forces of conservatism. The internet’s automatic level playing field gives conservatives opportunities that mainstream media have often denied them.

Iain Duncan Smith may appear to be talking out of his arse in this piece, but this is an illusion caused by him speaking (some) sense with his head firmly planted in said orifice.

1. The right doesn’t need much rescuing, especially as Murdoch controls so much of what people see and hear and his favourite puppy-dog Tony Blair has co-opted so many right-wing policies and put a smiley face on them.

2. Speaking of co-opting, Karl Rove knows very well that the ’empowerment’ of blogs ‘shown’ by Rathergate is total bull. Right-wing blogs were used in this case – possibly by Rove himself – and people in the U.S. were completely had as a result. One small document (an obvious fraud of uncertain origin) was proved to be false and the interpretation fed to the mainstream audience was that this disproved everything that had ever been said or proved about Bush’s service record. (See The Bush AWOL Forgeries: Fonts Do Not Unmake Facts)

3. IDS does not have a weblog (or even his own website, by the looks of things). Do pardon me while I sneer in his general direction like a netropolitian elitist.

The Book Club Blog has a round-up of reactions, and two come from immediate orbit. Here’s Robin’s short take, and here’s Nosemonkey’s optimistic take.

(And now we also have the road to to consider.)

My view:

Reality is what sends me to bed each night; there is only so much you can achieve in one day before falling over. But potential is what gets me out of bed each morning.

Now, weblogs have enormous potential to bypass mainstream media. It has been proven that they can subvert mainstream media, but only when a weakness is shown or (puts on tinfoil beanie) orchestrated. However, this ability relies greatly upon the reputation/network of any given blog or group of blogs. MPs, writers and activists should be very aware that this kind of reputation or network requires them to communicate; but this communication should not be seen purely as a means to an end.

On that note, it needs to be said that Backing Blair is a bit of a departure for Bloggerheads, in that I have to bring a very large percentage of you around to my way of thinking (i.e. this project is not borne entirely of what we as a group – most likely – may think and/or be concerned about, but what I think will address a problem most of us have in common).

I’m risking a lot of what I’ve built up over these past 3 years because I think my solution is the best way forward. And here’s something from the same paper (if a different edition) that I hope will help to make my case…

Guardian – We cannot vote Labour: This has transformed Labour from an imperfect conduit of progressive change to an active obstacle to it. To vote for it is to abandon any hope that such change will ever come. It is to hand over responsibility for a leftwing agenda to those who have shown nothing but contempt for liberal-left policies and for the people who hold them dear. Nowhere is this more evident than on Iraq.

I tossed and turned for a bit last night over a common barb sent BB’s way; ‘democracy is choice’ says site that tells you how to vote

But right now you have no choice (simplethink illusions used only to clarify statement):
– Vote Labour and cement Blair’s control over the party
– Vote Tory and invite Howard to ‘bring back Thatcherism’
– Vote Lib-Dem, SNP, anti-war etc. and ‘waste your vote’

If Backing Blair develops as a strong enough movement, it will provide you with a (pardon the term) Fourth Way:
Vote against Labour under a single banner that can be seen clearly by those within Labour who are in a position to unseat Blair.

In short; keep Labour, lose Blair.

Last year’s by-elections involved a heartfelt (but scattered) protest vote that almost sparked a leadership challenge.

Wake up to the potential.


About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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