In a talk to the Hansard Society, Hazel Blears (left, but not politically) has made the following attack on 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?
But mostly, political blogs are written by people with disdain for the political system and politicians, who see their function as unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy.
Until political blogging 'adds value' to our political culture, by allowing new voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and despair" (I suppose a quote is Samizdat!)
If she wishes to look for an alternative set of political blogs to those she attacks, then she should examine the links in the column to my right. Not to mention my Archives which cover 400 entries on top of this one (although some are about football and not politics - as are a few of my links).
To attack political bloggers on Hazel's basis is like being rude to those who talk politics in pubs and clubs, on buses and trains and even at organised political meetings. Just because numbers of people talk crap, it does not mean that they all do. Nor that their chosen avenue of expression should be damned.
If she wishes to raise the standard of political blogging, then she should join in as numbers of her parliamentary colleagues do. On second thoughts, I haven't came across anything yet to indicate that Hazel has anything to offer in raising the standard of debate whatever avenue she decides to use - certainly nothing she says from the green benches. But there I go again fueling cynicism and despair.