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June 12, 2006



How curious that he would see Blogland divided between "Conservative blogs", "Labour blogs", LibDem blogs" and so on. I must admit, that had never occurred to me.


'The reaction I hope to get from readers isn't "I agree", but: "I hadn't thought of that." ' And you often succeed.

angry economist

There's many reasons I read this blog:

- no dogma or banging the drum on particular issues
- its not resembling or turning into editorial/comments as in the dead trees - i.e. its rarely unsubstantiated piffle
- the blog is interesting, and I learn something and find it thought provoking
- occasional forays into music and country and western discussions

Personally - I read it precisely because its refreshing compared to the mainstream press

Rob Knight

I'm not sure if wide readership equates to influence. Iain Dale has a wide readership, but a lot of his posts are reactive; he can amplify a trend if he spots it, but he can't change anything. Nobody who reads Iain Dale is likely to say "well I used to vote Labour but after reading this it's Tory all the way for me!", whereas people reading your blog may well end up saying "I used to think X, but now I think Y". I know that's certainly true for me - some of your posts have been incredibly enlightening.

The same pattern occurs in the music industry - who has more influence, the stadium-filling boy band or the ground-breaking band who split up before they got famous and inspired a thousand others to follow them?


I don't think, overall, that we need to be as influential. Britain has a much stronger party system, with policy groups that take grassroots in, etc. We also have a reasonable spread of print media that allows access to a good variety of opinions.

Plus, we're British, damnit, everything is understated. I blog partially out of frustration, partially to vent, and partially because it's nice to know others feelt he same as you about key issues.

Also, the exchange of ideas and debate is good. You've (almost) persuaded me of the case for a flat tax, for example, that surprises me. I was already sold on market socialism, but now I can define my terms a lot better.

Iain's list is a bit weird, I've never seen some of them, and I've been trawling around links all over the place. And I'm not on it, so it's obviously wrong...


Sometimes I read this blog and think "I didn't understand a bleedin' word of that," but it always makes me think - and that's why I keep coming back. I still have no idea how I would categorise S&M on a left-right axis but you could say that about most UK blogs.

Perhaps it is easier to form a community of like-minded bloggers in the USA because (IMHO) political opinion is more polarized there - or maybe it is forced into rival camps by the strength of their party system.

And who wants a Bloggers Convention anyway? I'd far sooner just sit in a pub with a few people that I've met through blogging and argue the toss over a few pints.

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