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Hey, I'm sixteen, and I was five only a few days ago.

Yes, I agree that the left has lost a considerable voice in the Labour Left. It has, after years of being strangled by an alien plant, decided to become a succubus on the New Labour host. So dependent on this withering vine for nourishment is it, it has ceased to have anything significant to say about British politics. Therefore, it falls to a Trotskyist to make the points that the 'pro-war Left' are not.

Third Avenue

You make a strong point, but is this the whole story? Isn't there room for a 'softer' left than you? Where are the Polly Toynbee-type blogs, the Roy Hatterslys, Bob Marshall-Andrews? Why has the left been unable to produce the equivalent of the Peter Cuthbertsons of this world?..


I'd put it roughly as follows:

1) Political polarisation means that people are increasingly impatient with vacillating Toynbee types.

2) There isn't a structural support for that kind of ideology as there once was. The party base in Labour has basically collapsed, and the Lib Dems are pathetic. Think about it. The main actor in the StW movement, like it or not, was the SWP. It fulfilled this role because it had to, no one else was doing it. Poorly funded, minute on the national scale, but well-organised, it was able to provide a structure of orgsanisational, intellectual and ideological support for individuals who were otherwise not aligned.


The right is individualist, free-spirited and democratic: the left is collectivist, hierarchical and dirigiste. So the right blogs and the left captures institutions like the Godawful, the Beeb, chunks of the Unis, etc. It's just the sort of beasts they are.


"...individualist, free-spirited and democratic...": except John Ashworth, presumably.

john b

3A - PC is pretty extremist and dogmatic, certainly more so than moderate lefties like Ryan or Johann (links below, due to bizarre HTML-comment-disablery).


The perception of the entire left being in thrall to statist and social democratic norms is rather wide of the mark and ignores the more Libertarian Socialist/Mutualist currents floating round in the blogosphere. As to the dominance of right wing blogs this is probably due to it's marginal position politicaly, much like the Democrats in the USA. In many ways it's a sign of political weakness rather than strengh.


Beowulf, I suspect, is right: the absurd pro-war "left" position, for example, barely sustains life outside of the Blogosphere - the odd newspaper columnist, the odd New Labour diehard - but hardly a mass current.

However, if blogging looks like taking off in any way here, it is greatly to the left's disadvantage that the opposing side has established such a prominent position. It will be hard to shake off a two? three? year head-start that they seem to have made.

A left Peter Cuthbertson... something about this idea suggests it would not be an entirely Good Thing.

john b

This link might also be relevant:

(NB I suspect that a non-negligible proportion of the original list's right-leaning nature is that Scott Campbell is more inclined to read right-wing sites, being somewhat right-libertarian himself)

Oh, and if the right is independent, free-spirited and democratic then I'm a penguin.


Meaders is correct that the Left does face a disadvantage in terms of the right wing blogs having a headstart. However in the US blogs like Daily Kos and Atrios emerged in a Conservative dominated blogosphere with Sullivan and Reynolds calling the tune. But despite this disadvantage they have both gone on to dominating the US political blog scene. There is no reason why the same cannot happen over here.


Someone described bloggers as "pamphleteers"; it seems to be a medium for people who have very strong, entrenched positions and one of the reasons for this is that controversy and argument is what attracts traffic. I remember Lenin remarking that his site meter count always goes up whenever he gets into a verbal scrap with Harry's Place. Why are there more right-wingers doing this sort of thing? Because, both in the UK and the US the grim truth is that the left is seriously outnumbered.


One thing I've noticed is that there appear to be more links (in both senses of the word) between blogs on the US right and similar European blogs than there are between the US left/liberal blogs and their transatlantic equivalents. Kos, Atrios, Josh Marshall etc don't tend to link to non-US blogs with anything like the frequency of Instapundit, Sullivan et al.


Yes that is a good point Nick and frustrates me no end, I put this down in some respects to US cultural/political insularity. I wonder if British political bloggers could make a co-ordinated approach to the bigger left wing US political bloggers...


Don't forget that the list is missing out a fair few which haven't got public stats.

Quite a few people seem to count me as a leftie - though I'm not up there with Lenin, on the basis of last week's averages I'd be in the top 30 (maybe higher if it's counting repeat visits / page loads), and I've only been going a few months, so haven't yet reached peak readership. Bloggerheads probably counts as left, and gets a good couple of thousand a day.

There's probably others I haven't heard of yet (I'd never heard of that Welsh one, for example, and had only visited Andrew Sullivan's place once, that I'm aware of) which also aren't included.

But the simple answer for the disparity is that the right are simply more obsessive about things, so are more likely to have regularly-updated blogs, so are more likely to attract repeat visitors.


Shug - I simply don't buy the "there's more right-wingers" line. Who's going to win the next general election? a. The Tories b. the Labour Party? (It's a crude judgement, but you see my point.)

In reply to Beowulf, the British left and the US left are quite different beasts. Without making too much of this distinction, Britain is still more like Europe (and the rest of the world) in its political set-up, sustaining a large, social-democratic party of a type that has simply never existed in the US. I suspect insularity arises from a slight mutual incomprehension, as much as anything else.

What does impress me, however, is that - contrary to what might be expected - the British left blogs are refreshingly non-sectarian and open-minded; ok, there's some swiping and muttering (I've done it myself), but rarely does it develop into an unpleasant (and probably futile) slanging match and there does seem to be some genuine concern to develop a dialogue.


RE Nick and Beowulf's comments, why not let's send them some emails introducing ourselves and saying "please give us brittish leftists some links or the TORIES WIN (at least in terms of hits...)"

(A serious suggestion).

Tim Worstallt

Much as I like Scott and think his idea is interesting....I think that the bias rightwards in that list is simply a failure of the methods by which the list has been compiled. Sorry, failure sounds too harsh. Incomplete perhaps? It’ll get better and more accurate as people let Scott know about their existence, and as more stats become available.


By taking alisha and reach to whom she

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