Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Since it has become all the rage to discuss why all those libertarian swearbloggers have disappeared from the world of blogging I thought maybe to add my tuppence worth of comment. I was going to set it all to music - perhaps adapting Pete Seager's immortal words:
Where have all the bloggers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the bloggers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the bloggers gone?
Gone from the Internet every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
To be fair, the (ever-so-slightly-smug-and-self-satisfied) comments in CiF and elsewhere do point to one truth:

We no longer have a mendacious, incompetant, nannying and offensive government under the direction of perhaps our worst ever prime minister.

And it’s pretty hard to be so cross with David Cameron – such a nice bloke (although my close friend and colleague Huw feels very differently about David’s sidekick, George).

But there’s another reason. Sheer boredom.

It seems to me that there’s a natural limit to the blogging game – assuming that it’s done for personal satisfaction, pleasure or, of course, as a safety valve for explosions of rage. We can only make the same point so many times before we begin to feel like Douglas Adams’ bowl of petunias.

If the only thing you feel motivated to blog about is the total uselessness and stupidity of government (and, dear reader, you will know I have some sympathy with this position) then eventually you’ve actually said everything there is to be said – that governmental uselessness has been described over and over again - in technicolour and in detail - and, if the folk out there haven’t got it yet, they are clearly lacking in little grey cells.

Now I can hear you thinking. Surely, there will come a new cadre of aggressive, sweary bloggers dedicated to the overthrow of the “Coalition”? Surely left-wing bloggers will take up where the right-wing bloggers left off. And maybe those left-wing bloggers will be more libertarian in outlook? Maybe. But maybe not – and here’s why.

Obnoxio, Constantly Furious, Mr Eugenides and others were angry at what the Government was doing to their lives. It was the cameras, the speed restrictions, the food rules, planning regulations, police behaviour, smoking bans and obscene levels of punative taxation. It was the personal aggrandisement, the quangocrats, the inflated salaries, the lack of accountability, the waste, the vain belief that there is ever any justification from stopping something just because you disapprove of it.

These were direct attacks by the Government on the bloggers' lifestyle, their choices. And this was what motivated the outpouring of anger and bile.

Some left-wingers might be so motivated but most – I suspect – will talk instead of how the bad “Coalition” is affecting the lives of others. And the anger displayed is a faux-anger compared to the indignation of attacks on me and mine. The emphasis will be on shroud-waving and the weilding of begging bowls rather than a defence of individual rights - or more importantly the individual rights of the blogger concerned.

Were left-wing bloggers to adopt the stance of attacking attacks on their lives – well they'd stop being left-wing bloggers and become….

…a new generation of right-wing, swear bloggers.


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