May 9th, 2008

The Blog You Love, They Hate

Julia Hobsbawm’s Editorial Intelligence held a soiree at the RSA on Wednesday about the “Power of the Commentariat“. They had surveyed a hundred or so of the pundit class and invited them to the event to discuss their findings. The great and the good of the chatterati voted Polly Toynbee the most influential columnist and (outside Big Media) Guido the most influential blogger in Britain. Some of the great and the good didn’t like that one little bit.
What insight did these editorial titans take from that? Simon Jenkins, Suzanne Moore, Charles Clarke and Polly obsessed about the uncouth comments from the co-conspirators and CiFers. They are the people. The people you don’t meet at Hampstead dinner parties or in the village deli of your Italian villa. The people who are sick and tired of the metropolitan elite can now tell you so at the bottom of your own article. Polly clearly hates the indignity of being told she is wrong by the CiF mob where her colleagues can see it and laugh along. They really don’t like it up ‘em do they?

Polly basically said Guido can’t be good because he doesn’t like politicians. Simon Jenkins reckoned Guido, Dale and ConservativeHome were too SW1-focused. Charles Clarke said we were self obssessed (nobody laughed). Suzanne Moore said Guido is a wanker in his bedroom. Daniel Finkelstein was the only one of the Commentariat to defend bloggers.

Lets deal with these in order:

  • Guido is cynical about politicians and their motives – as are most people outside the Commentariat – so what? Is that the wrong approach? Not in Guido’s judgement, forinstance apart from Matthew Parris, who of the Commentariat said Gordon Brown would be a total disaster and found out as such rapidly? From right to left he was applauded and lauded by the entire herd of metropolitan chatterers.
  • Guido does despise most politicians, unlike Polly, who showed her good judgement in boosting Gordon Brown so fervently. Now by her own admission, though even recently so full of admiration, she realises he is not up to the job.
  • Guido, Dale and Tim Montgomerie are political bloggers, so it would be odd if we did not in fact write about Westminster where they do, errrm, politics.
  • Charles Clarke’s comment is very odd because he is so full of amour propre as to be risible.
  • The humourless feminazi Suzanne Moore has said it before and she is still wrong. Guido has an office…

If you can bring yourself to listen to them whine at length, the podcast is here. Of the voices heard only Hobsbawm, Finkelstein and a chap from Microsoft “got it”, he said he thought it sounded like he had entered a room full of whigs complaining about pamphleteers. Exactly.



Seen Elsewhere

Uber Needs to Mind Its Manners | CapX
Sun Victory in Court | MediaGuido
UKIP Gains Coming at Labour’s Expense | Elections Etc
Farage’s Migrant Muddle | Indy
Tristram Should Stop Bashing Independent Schools | Toby Young
Journalists in the Dock | David Banks
Let Them Eat Gay Cake | Laura Perrins
May v Javid | ConHome
Politicians Never Safe From Being Recorded | Stephen Pollard
Superstar Carney | Alex Brummer
Gulf Dividing Labour | Mary Riddell


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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