Alex Massie

Bloggers & Ministers

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I'm glad Trixy reminded me about the startlingly daft speech Hazel Blears, the Communities Minister (whatever that means), gave to the Hansard Society the other day. Though the irrepressible Mrs Blears was correct to bemoan the rise of a political class with no hinterland beyond Westminster (this also applies to the media classes, of course), it was her comments about blogs that were the purest Class A piffle. Apparently:

Until political blogging 'adds value' to our political culture, by allowing new voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and despair."

But of course the entire point of the blogosphere is that it's entirely open to new voices and, indeed, new ideas. Equally, there's no requirement that it meet some government minister's definition of what kind of protests and chellenges may be considered "legitimate". And thank god for that. Finally, one might say that after more than a decade of this government, cynicism and despair are an entirely rational response to the state of Britain today.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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