One of my interesting chats today was with someone whose identity I won’t divulge just yet. He made a very valid point: when it comes to political blogging, there’s a gaping hole in the UK blogosphere. Ask anyone with any interest in politics which blogs they read, and you’ll hear the same answers: Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale. Me included.
I’m actually enjoying Guido’s stuff at the moment. I detect a slightly different tone of late: still stirring of course, but not so cynically. Maybe the criticism of late last year, and early this, hit home. It has always been essential reading, purely for the extent of its influence, but I no longer object to the fact that I feel I have to read it.
But I continue to read Iain Dale’s blog because I feel it’s important that I should, not because I agree with him on much (if anything). That isn’t meant to be a criticism of the guy: in many respects, I admire what he’s doing – but I don’t just consider myself to belong to the same camp. (I’m still keeping an open mind on Cameron, though, but that’s not the point.)
He’s currently conducting a readership survey, to find out more about what his readership wants – but underlying the questions is an assumption of sympathy with his pro-Tory, pro-Cameron stance. None of the multiple choice options allow for the ‘outsider’ readership. For example, he asks if you agree or disagree with the statement that ‘Iain is a disruptive influence on the Conservative Party and he should be more loyal’. I agree with the first part, and probably disagree with the second – although I wouldn’t feel it’s my place, as a non-Tory, to comment.
Where is the anti-Iain Dale – a well-produced blog by someone who clearly ‘gets it’, and has an ear to the ground in SW1, but from a centre-left perspective? And if he/she existed, I wonder would I continue to read Iain’s stuff?