I have been taken to task many times because I refuse to criticise either Iain or Guido – and I do so for one very simple reason; none of us would be here if it wasn’t for them.
Once upon a time they were lone voices in the political blogosphere, and it was through their tireless self publicity and egotism, two attributes that are ‘knocked’ time and time again, that the political blogosphere came to be a force that so many of us entered later on.
They are together the Damian Hursts of the political Blogosphere – very easy to say ‘can’t see what is so special about them myself’, ‘load of nonsense’, and even easier to forget that they broke the mould, they started their blogs when no one was listening, when there was no Iain Dale to give you a lift in the ratings when he took a shine to something you wrote, no Guido to put a link on a sidebar and give a story traction.
They did it the hard way, shouting into an empty void. I respect both of them for that.
Iain leaves behind a dowry of a vibrant political force that was unimaginable 10 years ago, a blogosphere that beats the main stream press time and again – witness Guido breaking the Bob Roberts story just yesterday, and Dizzy’s work being picked up yet again by the Daily Mail.
When we had a Nu-labour government, blogging was the way in which we fought back and exposed their lies and chicanery. It is very noticeable that now we have a Con-Dem government we have returned to the ugly scenes of the poll tax riots, Grunswick, the Miner’s Strike – the pain many of us felt under a Labour government was expressed in words, often elegant, insightful, and witty. Not with sticks and staves, and flying fire extinguishers.
We have Iain and Guido to thank for building us that outlet, and giving us an alternative to the thuggery we see now on the streets.
Enjoy the rest Iain – you will be back!