I confess to a currently fashionable perversion – I do occasionally sneak a late night look at ’stat porn’, the web record of how many people are reading your blog, and where they come from. I try to restrict myself to two minutes once a week, I am scared of becoming addicted, and the last two days I have only peeked with my eyes closed – I suffer from vertigo.
However, before the recent furore, I was always interested in how readers in New Zealand, Dubai, Angola (!) and places like Kazakhstan had been led to my blog door. Now the fellow (I hope it is a fellow) in Kazakhstan was easily explained, night after night, at around 4am, he had clicked on a Google link that led him to my unfortunately named blog post ‘The ‘all you can eat’ Pussy Club. Either he is fascinated with the tale of how the economic downfall in Germany had had unusual consequences, or he was hoping that it was a ‘front’ and eventually he would click on the secret link that would admit him to a wonderful world of porn…..
Click, click, click. Poor man, and he has to live in Kazakhstan. I pity him.
However, the remaining overseas links would invariable come via a link through ‘Total Politics’. Somehow, and I have no idea how, for I neither knew that the competition was running, nor advised my readers to vote in it, I ended up as 13th in the top 20 Libertarian blogs.
I quite possibly came third in the annual camel racing contest in Dubai, and second in the goat curry cooking competition in Barbados, I didn’t enter them either, but the organisers of those competitions haven’t resulted in any links to my blog.
Anyway, back to Total Politics. The details that ’stat porn’ provides of these visitors is that they come predominantly from servers owned by universities, and large news organisation; from which I construe that there are large number of people around the world who are genuinely interested in the British political scene, and are quietly munching their way through the lists of blogs of all hue, gaining a representative view of all opinions at to what is happening in Britain. As well they might – they don’t want to end up in the same mess we are in, do they?
Yesterday, in the middle of all the Hogan excitement, a blog post flashed up on my screen from that perennial old favourite of mine, the big girl’s blouse, ‘pauline-in-Lancs’. On initial reading it seemed that Pauline was merely huffing and puffing, trying to persuade his readers that anyone who even spoke to, or about, the BNP was racist. Nothing unusual in that. Nothing unusual in his antipathy towards Iain Dale and the influential Total Politics magazine – it has been that way ever since the ‘demon’ himself, Lord Ashcroft, bought a share of the magazine.
This was different though, now that I have had the time (and inclination) to re-read the piece. For it seems that the big girl’s blouse wants nothing less than a total boycott of ‘Total Politics’ by all ‘decent’ – i.e. left wing – blogs. He is calling for, amongst others, the Unite (Charlie Whelan) financed blog, Labour List to boycott the Ashcroft financed Total Politics. Nay, he is offering bribes in the form of links from his blog to anyone who will help turn Total Politics into Un-Total Politics.
I have always argued that if you disagree with the BNP policies, you should be out and about, rebutting their arguments. If you seek to silence them instead, what you are actually seeking to do is silencing democracy, not silencing Nick Griffin.
Listen to their argument.
Publication of an interview by Total Politics, which will be distributed to every parliamentarian, peer, political journalist and to councillors across the country, does the opposite. It is a further acquiescence to the BNP message being accepted as a normal part of British political discourse. It is not.
Yes it is, Pauline. Listening to views you don’t like, or don’t agree with, is very much part of British political discourse. The idea of debate is that you think up opposing arguments, better arguments. Unless of course, you truly believe that British political discourse has already descended to the level of Stalin’s Russia –
“There is a person – there is a problem, there is no person – there is no problem.”
If the Big Girl’s Blouse is successful in his call for a boycott, Total Politics will no longer be accessed by academics and journalists around the world, looking for a wide range of informed opinion on British Politics, it will, in his own words, risk a ‘negative impact on its business’.
Or to paraphrase Stalin.
“There is a magazine – there is a problem, there is no magazine – there is no problem.”
Never have the totalitarian instincts of the hard left been more obvious. Democracy is what they are attacking, not Nick Griffin.