Friday, 8 May 2009

The Tory/SNP vortex #2 (Blogosphere)

Why don't Labour have a decent presence in the blogosphere?

Many claim that it is easier to blog, and have a successful 'blogging movement', when you are in opposition. To an extent I agree. The Tories don't have to defend policies which may not do exactly what they say on the tin, as Labour have to. Instead, the Tories can slag off Labour's failures (and even their successes) without having any need (yet) to offer a fully-functioning alternative.

It is much easier to grumble and bitch from the sidelines while the Government get on with the 'running of the country' stuff.

But then you look at the SNP. Certainly, they had a strong blog presence/movement in opposition, but after the crescendo of the election, they are the biggest party, the party of Government, and they're blogging presence swells further. So, Labour's suggestion (that they direct towards the Tories) that blogging is an opposition's toy, doesn't stand up.

Someone made the point that, as the SNP haven't formed a coalition, they can still play the fiery rebellious opposition role they used to, it's just that now they have more power and more platform. By having no formal ties to the other parties, they can still play some of their tactics as they did in opposition. The SNP, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, likes a 'fighting sort of politics'. They like to be pushed down and seen as the underdog and the hard-done-by, as this makes them, their members, and a natural tendency in the Scottish people, push back in the other direction. They can still play the 'everyone's picking on the SNP' card. And the other parties keep playing into their hands.
And as long as the SNP get to play the way they like to, they will always do well. They are in Government, and their blogging powers continue to grow. Labour, in Scotland, barely has a presence. Admittedly, neither do the Tories, but as this is Scotland and the Tories we're talking about, we shouldn't expect much.

The SNP made the transition from Opposition to Government, and for now, honeymoon or not, they have a strong presence. Some say they use bullying tactics throughout this e-world, and they may be right, but having seen very little evidence of this, I'll call it power, not bullying.

Accusations of SNP cyber-bullying, are instead just an example of power by numbers - the will of the many outweigh the will of the few. Online, there is a stronger SNP presence in Scotland than any other party. In England, it is the same for the Tories. Both these parties have made a point of reaching out beyond their grassroots and offering alternatives, ideas and patform for discussion.
Labour keep lurching back to their grassroots...wouldn't be surprised if Clause 4 was brought back as appeasement. Debate and discussion, both within themselves and as an outreach, is behind the SNP and Tory successes. Labour, controlled and terrified in equal measure by unions like Unite, do not have a freedom, or sense of themselves to create their own movement. They need to wait for the unions to tell them in what direction to go.

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