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Monday, September 18, 2006 


It's not really something worth getting worked up about, or even bothering with but the insufferably smug looking Iain Dale, along with APCO, a political lobbying firm, have come up with a pretty awful list of the supposed 100 top blogs in the UK (PDF).

Guido is rightly first, but from there downwards it all goes horribly wrong. Kerron Cross? Who he? Stephen Pollard, the idiot who can't write or think at 21? Harry's Place, the blog meeting place for lefties all over Britain? In Harry and David T's wet dreams maybe. In the real world, Harry's Place is where the pro-war ex-lefties gather to bitch about Trots and bleat how they're actually the real lefties while everyone else is either a Muslim appeaser or a wingnut. The hilariously awful to the right of Attila the Hun EU Referendum, which attempted during the Lebanon war with some success to smear the Red Cross and claim that Hizbullah had used the massacre at Qana for propaganda purposes is at 41, but the blog's writer still argues with Dale, in a battle of who is the more patronising and annoying in the comments. The excellent Pickled Politics is at 59, while the execrable Devil's Kitchen is at 57. Daniel Finkelstein, the piss-poor "rolling guide to the best opinion on the web", as long as it's suitably right-wing, which has been running for a whole two weeks gets 66. The highlight from Finkelstein so far is:
I hold Melanie Phillips in high regard. She has been consistently brave and, I believe, correct about just what we're up against in the war on terror.
Stop giggling at the back. Finkelstein also started with a brilliant post agreeing with Norman Geras that the 1 million strong march against war with Iraq wasn't "progressive". Oliver Kamm, who knows a thing or two about being disingenuous and talking down to people, makes 70. Biased BBC, quite possibly the most unintentionally funny blog on the list makes 83, and after that I more or less lost the will to live.

Although Dale has corrected his mistake in leaving out Recess Monkey, there's no sign of Lenin's Tomb on any of the lists, which is either a huge cock-up or evidence of the Tory bias. Daily Mail Watch is also nowhere to be seen. There's plenty of "professional" bloggers on the list, but Comment is Free has either been excluded or forgotten about, as it's also missing. Big Stick Small Carrot seems low on the non-aligned list at 46, and I'm sure there's other significant omissions or suspiciously high places for certain blogs.

More interesting is Francis Maude's claim that Conservatives are out-performing and using blogs more than the left currently is in this country. If anything, that's wishful thinking on Maude's part, and can also be partially explained by the fact that the Tories who are blogging have got far better connections than those on the left who are. Another reason may well be because of the Tories being in opposition, with their party fully in transition mode, that discussion genuinely is taking place and is doing so on the web. The same is true in the States where Democrat-leaning blogs have taken the lead in influencing their own party. The rabid right bloggers in America are always verbose, but have no such power over the Republicans.

Big ups then to Bloggerheads, Rachel, Blairwatch and Shaphan for making the main list, and all the others I link to who made the rest. In the infinite wisdom of Iain Dale, it looks like I should write less.

Update: Hello to Devil's Kitchen readers linked here. I think I was a little harsh in calling the Kitchen
execrable; it can be, and often is very funny indeed. Just the politics that gets up my nose. No hard feelings.

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