One reason why bloggers are important

Strange things happen. One day, a persecuted minority, the next, ultimate power. This generation can remember with pride that it was ordinary people who brought about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, not politicians. One of their tools was the Samizdat, certainly a precursor of the blog. Václav Havel is an example of how there can be a turnabout in the axis of power. Havel was involved in the production and disemination of Samizdata long before he assumed the presidency of the Czech Republic. An article was circulated during the dark days, called "The Power of the Powerless" - This is what is said:

A SPECTER is haunting Eastern Europe: the specter of what in the West is called "dissent" This specter has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting. It was born at a time when this system, for a thousand reasons, can no longer base itself on the unadulterated, brutal, and arbitrary application of power, eliminating all expressions of nonconformity. What is more, the system has become so ossified politically that there is practically no way for such nonconformity to be implemented within its official structures. . . . 

Does this not ring true today, in Western Europe?

After 13 years of Labour rule, with its concomintent erosion of personal privacy and freedom, what is needed is a route of dissent. Party Politics and our system does not deliver this. Instead, it delivers, at best, centerist, focus-group approved lowest common denominatorism and at worst, corruption. Further in scope, the European Parliament is a virtual Oligarchy where accountability to the citizens of Europe is low and disenfranchisement is high.

There is a need once again for the Samizdat, a line of dissenting opinion. Well, and bugger me, along comes the internet. It is just perfect for the disemination of dissent, uncorrupted by people who want to create our opinions for us. Attempts have been made to control it, but on the whole, it is impervious to censorship.

Bloggers are forming opinion and those opinions are influential. This humble blog gets linked to by the BBC. A cursory look at the Stats reveals that from time to time, it is read by many of the policy-making organisations in the land, including the House of Commons and the political parties. Journalists trawl the blogs for stories. High profile bloggers with connections and sources are informed and able to in turn inform us. Often, they tell us things that those in power do not want us to know.

The Main Stream Media (MSM) loathe bloggers. They loathe bloggers because bloggers, even bloggers like me, do a fuck's site more work on stories than they do. And more often than not, they break stories that they cannot or will not touch. This is not always because they are open to libel threats. It is most often because the MSM have an editorial line to follow, and journalists cannot escape from that. If they do, they are shown the door. They hate bloggers because we expose the lazyness, the brown-nosing, the cutting and pasting, and the corruption of the MSM. They are not on the side of the people; they are on the side of vested interests and spend a great deal of time cultivating politicians and business in order to stay viable as a medium. Yes, they really, really, hate us.

But like a lot of things one hates, one often has to have it. They are hooked; of course, the editors read Guido, Dale, et al. These days, they cannot ignore us. We break and make opinion and we do this because we are free to do it.

As a rider to this, I am tickled, (that is the only word) tickled to hear that the former Prime Minister of Iceland has been summoned to a specially convened court in order to answer charges of negligence. This has little or nothing to do with the power of the blogger, except for one thing; for years now people on blogs have been suggesting that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown be arrested for Treason. Many might have considered that this cry was the voice of those nutty bloggers who are held in such contempt by the ruling elite; mere hysteria and hyperbole.

And yet, this idea is now creeping into the MSM. Jeremy Warner writes, in an article in the Telegraph entitled "Why Brown should be joining Iceland's former PM in the dock", writes

Iceland’s decision to push ahead with charges of negligence against its former prime minister, Geir Haarde, raises the not entirely frivolous question of whether it might be possible to mount a similar case against Gordon Brown

I wonder where Jeremy Warner gets his ideas?


1984 said...

Yes WW you're right. With respect to the BBC I can no longer watch it with it's one dimensional take on things. You never get the full story. It has the resources to cover all the angles but is governed by it's ideology so can't tell the other side of the story
Here's the BBC view of the world..

EU - Good
Israel - Bad
Muslims - religion of peace
Tories - Evil
Labour - the 'proper' government
Climate change - Real
Climate change deniers - evil
Obama - the messiah
tea party/ Republicans - evil

I could go on but there's no point.
All news stories from the BBC will invite guest who fit the above model of the BBC view of the world.
The only fault with your argument about the internet being a tool of change is that the schools and universities are plugging away at the BBC view of the world aswell so children are pre programmed to believe this view. It's possible to de programme them ( even scientologists have been de programmed ) but it will be hard.

Ruth@VS said...

Quite right. I don't watch TV news anymore because it enrages me. I shout at the Today programme in the morning for the same reason. Once your eyes are open to it, you see how bad journalism in this country is these days. During the Iraq war I read French newspapers because the reporting here was so bad. Hurrah for the internet!

1984 said...

Interesting that you mention the Iraq War. The BBC are doing a series 'The Secret war' . It was about Iraq and must have been the shallowest programme I've ever seen. No secrets. Just publicly available snippets of what happened. In fact the bloggers revealed some 'interesting' stories about the Iraq war that the BBC seem to have missed. The struggle between the Army and the govt over permission to rescue the two soldiers held by the Iraqi Army / Insurgents for example.
So you can go online and find the truth but you also have to fund the BBC to make a programme that reveals nothing.
We might eventually get the truth about Iraq out of the BBC but like the climategate scandal they will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to investigate it.
Also interesting that the BBC failed to comment on Harriet Harperson switching from pro Iraq war to against the Iraq war without a seconds thought. Millions killed or displaced but because the new Dear Leader is now against the war then heck so is she.

Jim Baxter said...

The BBC are worthless as investigators or illutrators of fact except when showing the behaviour of plants and animals. Attenborough's stuff is good.

But on any other matter - science, history, or current affairs, they only look good until they start covering something you yourself know about and then you see how banal and misleading all the rest of what they have done must also have been.

They will show that some builder is a cowboy, some holiday operator a conman. But the BBC never expose the powerful.

1984 said...


Yes they can never investigate anything properly because they're handicapped by their inbuilt bias.
The Iraq war was under Labour's watch so they can't investigate the snatch landrover scandal etc. Carbon credit trading scam is part of the global warming scam so can't be investigated properly. The pressure on housing and health care due to mass uncontrolled immigration is something that can't be investigated because the BBC love mass uncontrolled immigration.
All we can do is log their bias ( via biasedBBC website etc ) and hold them to account.
Toby Young's documentary last night about introducing a new ' Free School' was a target for the BBC luvvies who didn't approve of it. They like to send their own kids to private school but think the masses should slum it in failed Comprehensives.
Here's a tweet from a BBC radio DJ that was sent during Toby Young's programme. It's a bit worrying considering all Toby's young children were featured in the show. ....