Friday, November 02, 2007

It isn't pickled politics, it's les politique au vinaigre

Have just stumbled across a rather bizarre post which essentially asserts that "Brits can't blog". The argument goes like this. The really popular blogs are not analytical enough, and tend to be echo chambers for media style gossip. Ergo they impoverish blogging.

The post on Westminister Wisdom was sparked by this post by Sunny on Pickled Politics. The post was titled "Challenging the elites, and the blogs" and made the same point about the current state of UK blogs and also goes on to the say that there is elitism in the NGOs, think tank etc towards blogs because of their impoverished debate level as already mentioned.

Isn't it wonderfuly amusing, and dare I say beautfiully ironic to see someone bemoaning blogs for being tabloid and requesting that debate be raised to higher purpose analysis away from the dumbed down masses, whilst simultaneously moaning about elitism outside the world of blogs?

Death to the tabloid proles, lets have elitist debate! Death to to the elitist snobs who stay away from us because of the tabloid proles! I wonder if that simple two sentence analysis is a little too tabloid?


Barnacle Bill said...
2 Nov 2007 12:55:00  

Gosh what a heady subject for a Friday!
I see blogging as being a personal thing, each to their own etc...
Perhaps British blogging comes over as tabloid, because we now seem to be living in a tabloid world.
Look at the number of our broadsheets that have gone tabloid.
The shallowness of news reporting, the dumbing down of Panorama, the lack of any real investigative journalism in this country now.
So perhaps we do come across as light on the level of debate on our bloggs.
But remember blogging has given Joe Public the ability to get his voice heard in what was previously the field of an elite few.
So there might be a tad bit of jealousy in some of their comments.
Bearing in mind also this is relatively a new phenomena, so one can only hope that standards will rise with time as well.

Mountjoy said...
2 Nov 2007 13:21:00  

Well, if the name "Pickled Politics" isn't tabloid I don't know what is :-)

Sunny said...
2 Nov 2007 16:28:00  

Isn't it wonderfuly amusing, and dare I say beautfiully ironic to see someone bemoaning blogs for being tabloid and requesting that debate be raised to higher purpose analysis away from the dumbed down masses, whilst simulatneously moaning about elitism outside the world of blogs?

Dizzy, you've misunderstood my point in your hurry to make it sound ironic.

I'm saying blogs don't *generally* have a better level of conversation like the US blogs do. Of course there is diversity in output. But other than Chris Dillow there's little in the way of serious evidence led analysis.

The elitism accusation aimed at think-tanks is about them not engaging with blog and sharing their expertise. It doesn't contradict my earlier point.

I don't know what you're trying to get at.

dizzy said...
2 Nov 2007 16:44:00  

It isn't that difficult to get really. Your entire post was self-contradictory because you are, on the one hand saying you dislike elitism, whilst on the other hand denigrating that which you consider to be debased and low. Who decides what is a "better level of conversation" for a start? You, some special people chosen by the cleverest of the clever? Sounds like eltism to me. "oh we mustn't have that tabloid stuff here". Have you considered for a moment that the reason the tabloids are popular is because they have "conversation" at the sort of level that normal people do?

Sunny said...
2 Nov 2007 19:31:00  

Oh for god's sakes, you really are being obtuse.

There are tabloidy blogs and there are more serious blogs. There are those who discuss the environment and those that discuss knitting. I love that diversity and have not once argued against it. But I'm saying that one the political end of the scale, we are not at the intellectual level of many American blogs where policy analysts, researchers and academics regularly blog and feed into the wider conversation. I'd like to see that changed.

I'm neither being pro-elitist nor anti-elitist. I'm merely saying that we are lacking more analytical and research driven commentary. That doesn't mean I hate tabloidy blogs nor want them out of existence.

I hope that makes my stance clear. If it doesn't... then there's no point explaining myself further.

dizzy said...
2 Nov 2007 21:50:00  

Obtuse? Hardly. I', merely pointing out that you seem to be offering a self-contradictory argument. After all you're the one that talked about a "better level of conversation" so by implication you're saying the level of conversation is not good enough, that it is somehow lower than it ought to be.

As for how the increase of Ivory Tower wonkery blogging (which exists if you actually look hard) can "feed into the wider conversation". Are you actually aware of how poncey that sounds? It's exactly that sort of bland bullshit that puts people off politics.

However, you have made your stance clear in your post and both your comments Sunny. You don't think the "level of conversation" on UK political blogs is good enough and could be "better", but you love the diversity that the proles and lesser intellectuals with their 'could be better' level of conversation provide, but you're not an elitist or anything like that.

Clear as crystal Sunny.

Oh yes, and I'm obtuse. is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to