Labour Bloggers: stop the world we want to get off!

Iain Dale seems to be the only person who reads Labour Home, and has come up with a couple of real gems over the past couple of days.

First of all, Recess himself has started thinking aloud about banning Tories from using Labour Home, although he has subsequently clarified that he only means banning them from writing articles. More bizarrely, Labour Matters has started questioning the wisdom of linking to non-TIGMOO blogs, singling out Tom Harris MP as an apple that has fallen too far from the True Labour tree.

Taking the Monkey’s intervention first, it would certainly be a shame. I know that in the past in a work capacity I’ve contributed to the site – not to troll but to bring issues to Labour supporters’ attention (just as we’ve also done on Conservative Home). This policy would mean that Labour supporters would have less opportunity to hear new ideas, thus increasing the likelihood that they will be walking around with bad ones bouncing around in their heads.

What Recess and Matters are both advocating is a virtual pulling up of the drawbridge. Psychologically, this is interesting in terms of what it tells you about the Labour psyche at the moment, and links directly to my post yesterday about Compass. Fundamentally, Labour activists no longer want to reach out – they want to talk (or, more often than not, fight) amongst themselves. A political party that does that is no longer a political party, but a cult. Think along those lines is tantamount to admitting you are not fit to govern.

But fundamentally, this is a question of economics – rarely a Labour strong point. You either believe in free trade or protectionism and this is classic protectionism. By putting up barriers, all Labour activists will achieve is to make it harder for themselves to get their message across on the internet.

Is this really the grand master plan New Statesman paid £50,000 for? And if so, will the likes of Jonathan Calder, et al be getting their P45s in the post soon?


  1. Actually, that isn’t at all what I was suggesting. I have no problem with reading and commenting on opposition blog posts, it’s linking to them that I object to. It’s interesting that the commentators on what I’ve written on LabourHome has only been misrepresented whilst the substance of my argument has not been challenged. Interesting, but not surprising.

  2. I don’t see how you can accuse me of misrepresenting you when neither I nor Iain Dale are suggesting you are calling for anything different. Nor can you accuse me of not dealing with your argument. As I wrote above, by putting up barriers and making it harder for people to navigate across the internet (the effect of not linking to opposition blogs) you will ultimately only make it harder for people to find you. Just as linking is reciprocal, boycotts are as well. The effect is that fewer people will read your blog.

    Still, it’s your funeral.

  3. Links certainly aren’t reciprocal.

    The Web’s a big place and a ‘political blog bubble’ is as damaging as a ‘Westminster bubble’ IMHO. Better to look outwards than to clowns like Dale.

    Dale’s link today didn’t even manage to get to the top of my referrers list. Some funeral then!

  4. I’d bet that Hilton’s idea is less to do with any kind of siege mentality than the fact that, right now, the conservative blogosphere is populated almost entirely by intolerable, uninteresting, unengageable bell-ends. In that, at least, he has my sympathy.

  5. I have to agree with this blog post. Labour blogs are getting thinner on the ground and more interested in navel gazing then in detauiling how they might wish to improve this country. It’s also noticable how few Blairities you find on message boards as well.

    Mind you, given that so many of their arguments boil down to shouting “VOTE FOR US OR IT’S THE TORIES” over and over again then perhaps that’s just as well.

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