Blears on blogging: bad timing and bad analysis?

Hazel Blears’ speech to the Hansard Society is attracting a fair amount of attention in the blogosphere today, perhaps not surprisingly given the inclusion of this paragraph:

This brings me to the role of political bloggers. Perhaps because of the nature of the technology, there is a tendency for political blogs to have a Samizdat style. The most popular blogs are rightwing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes. Perhaps this is simply anti-establishment. Blogs have only existed under a Labour government. Perhaps if there was a Tory government, all the leading blogs would be left-of-centre?

Two Lib Dem bloggers have provided insta-reactions: James Graham at Quaequam Blog! notes Ms Blears’ curious sense of mis-timing; while Matt Bowles at Liberal Conspiracy questions the premise of her statement.

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  • Did she really use the term Samizdat?!

    But… Um. Eh?!

    Is she suggesting that the Labour government is Stalinist?

    Or that bloggers are frequently self-published? (Which is surely obvious by the nature of the medium…?)

    Or that they are inherently not part of the mainstream media?

    If she meant oppositionalist, or similar, she surely should have just said that?

  • passing tory 6th Nov '08 - 11:37am

    The implication from her criticism of “samizdat” is that she doesn’t want people to air their own views; only offical, government-sanctioned ideas should be allowed. Does more or less sum up NuLabour …

  • Different Duncan 6th Nov '08 - 11:49am

    If you look at how sites like Tory Troll and Boris Watch, they are scrutinising the new Tory London mayor’s every move, and criticising every slip-up. If the Tories win the next general election, I can imagine this will be what David Cameron will have to contend with from the blogging left.

  • As the party of localism, why aren’t the LibDems more actively raising awareness of the Sustainable Communities Act and it’s implications for local government?

  • Alix Mortimer 6th Nov '08 - 3:02pm

    There were several posts about it at the time it came into force, on this blog and a couple of others I think. But it depends what you mean by raising awareness. I suggest the actual implications are most usefully discussed at grassroots level in local parties rather than online, because there’s not a lot the online community per se can do to act on it. Anyone got any anecdotage on local discussion?

  • As someone from Cheshire – where local government is currently being carved up into a weird 2-unitary structure that scarcely anybody in the county wishes to see (courtesy of the relevant Govt minister) – I find Ms Blears (said Govt minister) an unconvincing figure when she seeks to criticise others for undermining democracy ……..

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