I've got a blog, and I'm not afraid to use it
Firstly, over at Oliver Kamm's, Vivienne appears to have been reading my mind at some point (or I've been reading hers, or Charles Kennedy has brainwashed us all, Brian style, to say we are all individuals):
This is, incidentally, why I gave up blogging. I got really bored with people presuming what I thought (without asking me) and then misinterpreting what I said when I told them.Then, over at Beatniksalad, I find Tim quoting and expanding on something from Ken Macleod that I hadn't seen before:
It's boringly partisan, doesn't encourage the moderation of views, debate or people backing down when they are wrong and is generally unconstructive. It's pointlessly black and white, unnuanced and generally 'ya boo'.
I really felt like starting a blog anonymously without expressing my political affiliation at all. If no one knew I was a Lib Dem, you may be surprised what I actually think if you bothered to read it instead of reading it how YOU THINK I THINK.
Furthermore, I think on my own - I don't sign up to the opinions of everyone in the party. As such, I get bored of random rubbish being dropped on me which I don't sign up to at all. However, I know when assaults on the party are justified and when they are just malicious. Most of them emitting from the blogosphere are factually incorrect or just malevolent. This makes me very reticient to say anything when I know that the party is wrong or I disagree. I believe it is similar in 'real' politics - it crushes accountability, freedom of thought or genuine progress.
I'm increasingly convinced that Ken MacLeod is right - political blogs are just Usenet flamewars with nicer layouts. Unfortunately, blogs don't yet have an iron system of rules in place to adjudicate these dick-waving contests.Nah, this isn't going to turn into some big 'I quit' piece if that's what you're anticipating/hoping for/dreading - I just thought they were interesting quotes.