Monday, July 13, 2009

Some (not very pleasant) thoughts

Blogging has been light for three reasons. One is that I am finding it hard to shake last week's cold off. No, it is not flu of any kind but a bad and lasting cold can be debilitating, too.

Secondly, life seems to be filled with existential doubts. Put another way, I am experiencing what John Buchan calls frowstiness. His characters fall prey to this periodically, sometimes going as far as doubting whether what they do is of any use to anyone at all. Sir Edward Leithen is particularly given to this mild form of accidie, as I found myself remembering in the last few days, while re-reading the adventures.

Thirdly, I have managed to get hold of Glenn Reynolds's "An Army of Davids", a book that did extremely well on the other side of the Pond but was not, naturally enough, published here. After all, it deals with completely new and hard to predict developments in politics, economics and society in general. I bought it in a charity shop, complete with a bookmark from the wonderful New York second-hand bookshop, Strand.

The book is as good as one would expect from the author of Instapundit, but it has raised some gloomy thoughts about Britain and, in particular, about the blogosphere. Unlike our American cousins and allies we seem to have achieved very little. Worse, we have allowed the blogosphere to become an outlet of the big media. As one looks around at the most-read and most-commented-on blogs, they are, with very few exceptions, part of already existing media outlets: BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, Spectator et al.

Other successful bloggers are also turning themselves into journalists. That would not matter - revolving doors might be a good idea if they retained their blogging identity. But they spend a good deal of their time having conversations with the big media bloggers. The take-over some of us, independent bloggers, feared a couple of years ago, has actually taken place.

That is a most depressing thought. It is time to rethink the situation.


  1. So the Americans are good at forming independent pockets of influence within the blogospace?

    That's probably why they are Americans. Alexis de Tocqueville would not have been a bit surprised.

    Our lot is to defer to authority and frown on any uncouth individual who has ideas to challenge it.

    Get in line.

  2. There may be alternatives to getting in line but they are quite nasty. Heh!

  3. It sounds as if it is time that you asked yourself why you blog at all or if it is time for a change of direction.

    From my point of view, I am grateful that both you and Dr North bother to research and post your findings in a world that seems to have few good investigative researchers while it goes for instant gratification. I'm currently looking at the Barcelona Process and its spawn, which would be very difficult without a couple of bloggers about whom the world takes very little interest. But they bother because they know that their work is important.

    I am noticing increasingly, that the occasional comment is dropped in political programmes that is either gleaned from a lot of research, or far more likely from the blogs that you both run. You get no credit for that, but it tells me that you are reaching places of importance about which you might be totally unaware. Keep up the good work, please.

  4. Keyword here is 'respected'. People (with a few exceptions) dont come here or to EURef with the intention (or the ability) of denigrating or fisking. Your research is just too damn good for that. Needless to say this does not apply to those media-embedded blogs mentioned above.

    So take heart. Your hit count may not be as high as theirs, but each post is read and digested far more avidly than their vapid witterings.

  5. I'm new to the internet and have recently discovered this blog, but I'm learning a lot about matters which I've had suspicions about for more than fifty years. In particular, slimy, lying politicians. Keep going, there are many more out there who are even more ignorant than myself.