Thursday, 6 November 2008

Blears has a whinge

. Unsurprising that Hazel Blears would attract alot of venom from the political blogsphere for her rather whiny remarks to the Hansard Society. Her remarks were not so much an attack on political blogging as a generalised rant against the media in general for 'dragging political culture down':

"Famously, Tony Blair called the media a "feral beast" in one of his last speeches as prime minister. But behind the eye-catching phrase was a serious and helpful analysis of a 24-hour broadcast media and shrinking, and increasingly competitive, newspaper market which demands more impact from its reporting – not the reporting of facts to enable citizens to make sense of the world, but the translation of every political discussion into a row".

At this point one can only say 'you live by the sword and you die by it'; both Blair and Blears sound like a 6 y/o whose favourite pet puppy has just bitten them after they were wrestling it, shocked and hurt that their behaviour could provoke such an outrageous response. Blears singles out the 'commentariat' while expressing her own comments in spoken and written form. Enough said there I think; it is not even entirely true that these people are 'unaccountable' in that people can usually reply with their own comments of simply not read what is written.

Liberal Conspiracy has already dealt with the fallacy that the most popular blogs are right-wing. Having said that it is true that people will gravitate towards the opposition to the orthodoxy of the day and that is largely because controversial opinions are interesting. What a boring, rather Orwellian, world we would live in if the entire media was full of sickening praise for the government of the day.

Popularity is not sorely determined by political persuasion either; I read both Iain Dales Diary and Guido but as regular readers will know can barely be said to share the politics of either. Generally, I think both are good reads (as are other things which don't necessarily reflect my politics); maybe it is Hazel Blears whose 'cultural level' is lacking if she cant appreciate things which sit outside her own world view.

Bloggers and the media tend to reflect more than they create (though, of course, there is an interrelationship) and this is something Blears should reflect on; it is politicians that have the prime responsibility for 'creating a culture of cynicism and despair' not bloggers or the 'commentariat'.


Charlotte Gore said...

The blogs have the potential to trigger a grassroots movement that is independent of the control of Labour, Unions or any political party for that matter. They can't control it, direct it, censor it or even fully monitor it.

All they can do is watch. Their one power over the MSM is that they can hang the threat of removal of access, exclusion from exclusives on non-compliant journalists or editors.

The blogs.. what possible 'carrot' do they have to offer us that they can remove if we don't toe the line?

Blears is being ridiculous but their agenda seems to be portraying the internet as a hot-bed of terrorism and sedition anyway. Spreading a bit of FUD

She's afraid for her own neck.

Darrell G said...

Well quite....

thomas said...

Erm, much as I hate to defend Blears the SCA is a cross-party initiative and you'd do well to support it.

thomas said...

Oh, and aren't you LibDems interested in localism?

This act essentially rewrites the rules of local govt and potentially gives you the power to save your local post office or influence your local budget.

Why let Labour take the credit?

thomas said...

Sorry, I've scribbled together some thoughts over at LC because I think this is important, please go add your thoughts

Darrell G said...


Would it be churlish at this point out that Blears wasnt talking about the SCA?? I will happily pop along to Lib Conspiricy later and check out...

thomas said...

Er, yes she was.

Admittedly she didn't mention the SCA, but she certainly mentioned the white paper derived from it which was published this week.

Maybe as someone who is interested in local campaigning yourself you'd like to read it and comment on what it offers you.

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