Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is political blogging just about gossip? If so, where does that leave the Green Party?

I have been blogging since 2004, have put up 1,300+ posts, much of which were about what I thought was "politics". Recently I have been wondering if I am indeed a political blogger. I have been looking at the top political blogs like Iain Dale and Paul Staines Guido Fawkes, and realised that what they do in fact is purvey political gossip.
Theri stuff is mainly  about political personalities in and around Westminster. So no wonder that Greens, despite having more bloggers per capita than comparable parties, are out of the loop - we're not in Westminster.

In any case, I have no interest in gossip. This is not meant in a lofty or superior way. I just do not care, except insofar as it has a bearing on policy. It looks as if on the balance of tittle tattle that  Gordon Brown has a volcanic temper and maybe is a bully. Well, I have a tendency to lose my rag in meetings, for specific personal-historical reasons, so I cannot cast the stone at Gordon  - but I do wonder whether his temperament might lead us into a war.  It hasn't so far - he has just had to continue the wars started by St Tony of Bliar. Might Gordon start the Second Falklands war, in order to destroy that Conservative 7% poll lag (remember the rule - the corporate media always supports a good war)? It is a possibility - but this decision would be much more likely to be the result of calculations by his spin doctors, rather than an explosion of personal rage. 

Wouldn't it?

Anyway all this leaves us Greens out of the political loop, as usual.

Which is probably a good thing. It is impossible to think while your mind is saturated with the noise of gossip.  And somebody needs to do some thinking about the real political and economic problems we face. So, Iain, Guido and the rest, carry on with the gossip, and leave the thinking to the Greens...


Tod said...

Half a mo Doc. May I be provocative and suggest that Greens could learn a lot about communication from the blogs you mention?

I love a good gossip. So do most people - it’s human nature and inseparable from the practise of politics since the Ancient Greeks and doubtless far back to sitting round the cavern campfire. Man is a political animal. By the same token man is also a gossiping animal. Don’t some anthropological theories even hypothesise that language may actually have arisen during intimate contact while grooming and picking lice from our neighbour’s heads?

Environmentalists are already seen as being far too boring and earnest. Ideas are important (even exciting for some kinkers) but we need to spice things up a bit if we are going to communicate with a wider group of people.

More sexy, more fun, all eco-friendly stuff!

DocRichard said...

Hi Tod, you may be right. However, living as I do 150 miles from London, I don't have much chance of picking up any gossip*, and in any case, it's not my personal thing. No small talk. Prefer to argue about the philosophical/ideological issues. I suppose it is horses for courses really.

*though I do know something about the Falkland Islands, but unfortunately have to stay schtum to protect my sources.

KATE said...

Hi Richard
Sadly, I fear that Tod may be right. The Greens are perceived as being outta da loop and that's a problem for us. We've got the policies, we've got the people, we just aren't seen as being part of the Westminster Village. I live even further from London (200 miles) but the consequences of the Westminster mindset are apparent even in Yorkshire!

DocRichard said...

OK, OK, gossip. Did you know John major tucks his, that's old hat. Did you know that the Governor of the Falkland Islands (pop 3,000~), over whom we are about to have a war, STILL wears his feathered hat to the parish council meetings?

Is that any good?

Or could we make something up? How about: Gordon Brown bedded Ann Widdecombe on a one-night stand after a late night sitting?

DocRichard said...

How about this? Is this gossip?

Tod said...

With the Westminster village there is definitely a problem for the Greens as they do not yet have a foot in the door with an MP there. And there’s no doubt that, for all their spin, Guido and Iain Dale are very far from being "ordinary people" or “simple bloggers”; take a proper look at their bios and it is clear that both have been deeply embedded within a powerful Party, with numerous very intimate and privileged connections at Westminster and in the metropolitan political and business communities that are just not accessible by hoi polloi like you and me.

Where Greens and investigative Green bloggers can score is in their local areas by growing links and connections within Parish, Town, District and County Councils, QUANGOs and NGOs as well as Regional bodies. There’s plenty going on here - and this provincial scene has at least as profound an effect as Westminster does on our day to day environment and society. Much local politics is in dire need of greater transparency and having a brighter light shone into dark and dubious corners that local power brokers would often like covered over discreetly.

DocRichard said...

You're right of course, think globally, act locally. My local action used to be within my community, as a GP, but confidentiality forbids any productive gossip from that source. Then I had 6 traumatic years on the District Council, immersed in the detail of local politics. I am kind of immunised against local politics as a result - just cannot get excited about it just now. There is a short circuit in my mind : Local Politics = Tory B*stards. They were just unbelievably rude and boorish.

Now, of course, I have stepped down from being a Parliamentary Candidate.

So at present I am unable to act locally. Which leaves me with the option of thinking globally, as with GloHRI, Desert Rose, Dealing with Dictators, Middle East Water Project, and Separatist Wars.
Which should be enough to keep me going for a bit.

All, as you say, outta da loop. Not as important as Westminster's gossip.

However, today's dreams are the political realities of tomorrow. Today's political realities are tomorrow's irrelevant dross.

Tod said...

"Today's political realities are tomorrow's irrelevant dross."

To an extent maybe.

But you might equally say that today's political realities create tomorrow's political realities; cause leads to effect, which in turn becomes cause ...

Today's inaction, as well as counterproductive action, by our generations in dealing with the environmental crisis will leave tomorrow's generations coping with the degradation, for example.