Iain Dale - a Blogger or just another brick in the wall?

Today, Iain Dale announced his intention to donate £100 to the Phil Woolas legal fund. You can read the post HERE

Why though, is Iain Dale no longer a blogger? Because bloggers do not publicly announce their undying allegiance to all that is wrong with the ruling elite. That's why.

Dale puts his money where his mouth is. It is not merely, empathy. I would agree that empathy is ok. What is not OK is explicit, public, fiduciary support. Not only is Iain Dale out of step with the public, he is out of step with bloggers and his readers. He is not being "brave" or assertive or even "fair", he is being an arrogant, puffed up twat. How dare he sweep under the carpet the moral turpitude of the ruling classes? How dare he, with one little gesture, throw his lot in with those people who have sought, over the last few years, to feather their nests, by lying, conniving and cheating.

Iain Dale, in the time I have been a reader and commenter on his blog, has gone from being everyman to just another embryonic wannabe celeb, from the champion of the voiceless to just another mouthpiece for the status quo. Undoubtedly talented, he has squandered all my good feelings for him on this single act. He now resides in a lofty office block, overlooking Parliament. He has a personal gofer and probably a dozen people who tell him how the sun shines out of his arse.

Dale is not a blogger anymore. His blog is mostly now a puff for his show on LBC or Biteback Publishing. He even pays somebody else to do posts on his blog. He is cheek by jowl with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, another egregious mouthpiece for the angst-ridden chattering classes.

He is not the first high profile blogger I have dumped from my reading list. Not that long ago, Tom Harris, the Scottish MP even had me on his banner list until I asked him to remove it, and I did so because his policy about comments was not, in my opinion, commensurate with free speech.

These guys won't worry if I don't read their blogs. Neither will it change their minds, but I will not waste my time on people who fuck with justice or truth. As for a comment in the last thread by Bob; I do visit blogs I don't agree with, all the time, but I rarely bother to leave comments. What I will not do is support those who support the political status quo. If you have to ask why, you don't belong here either.

Blogs are for dissenters, libertarians and those who believe in freedom, truth and justice. They are the Samizdat of the 21st Century. Blogs are change agents. The blogger should and indeed must, stand out from the Main Stream Media. Can you, hand on heart, tell me that Dale does that? In this issue alone, he is out of step with over 70% of the population, and 65% of Labour supporters. There are currently more than 80 comments on that thread and over 80 condemn his action. Does he not realise how out of step he is? No, because he long ago discarded all pretence of being one of us.

Today Iain Dale joined the political elite.If political bloggers are about anything, they are about challenging the sad state of British politics. Dale can no longer do that, for he is part of the problem, and has been for some time.

Guido Fawkes hasn't gone down that route, and a dozen others. If a story breaks (or does not because it has been spiked) who are you going to trust? You cannot trust Dale anymore for he has too many vested interests, and apparently they go as far as supporting nasty Labour MPs, so that is quite a long way. It's a sad day. But don't ask why I am not bothering with Iain Dale's Diary anymore, anymore than I bother with Nick Robinson's "blog". If you can't see why, you perhaps should ask yourself, who's side you are on.

(FYI. These days, my first port of call is the Spectator Coffee House. For a Mainstream Blog platform, you get a considerably wide berth for comments, a huge spectrum of bloggers and a proper, lively level of debate. That's if their notoriously unstable technical platform does not swallow your post.)

"Dale's made the unforgivable step of moving from an apologist for a single party to a shill for the Political Class."   - Katabasis

Blogger was hijacked by people like you (Iain Dale) and Harris, and many others, who saw it as an easy entry to the web for their writing, but you and them are not bloggers but professionals who used the system to get a name and an audience. - Houdini


Katabasis said...

Great post WW.

Exactly why I gave up reading Dale just days after I started.

It's one thing, as I've seen a number of Tory bloggers do, to simply state 'hand on heart' that they support the party, in spite of its flaws because they think it is the best choice over all. These bloggers also rake their party over the coals.

Dale's made the unforgivable step of moving from an apologist for a single party to a shill for the Political Class.

Tcheuchter said...

I'm sure it is not the case at all, but could Mr Dale be hoping to publish a memoir by this unprepossessing ex MP?

No, an unworthy thought.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Welcome to the blog Tcheuchter.

Dale?! Vested interests?! You go too far.

Tcheuchter said...

Och, nay, not at all. I said it was an unworthy thought.

Bob said...

" Why though, is Iain Dale no longer a blogger? Because bloggers do not publicly announce their undying allegiance to all that is wrong with the ruling elite. That's why."

There are thousands of blogs that toady to the establishment as there are thousands that point out the corruption in the establishment. A blog is a personal diary of what someone believes in. Not the unique property of the anti establishment.
Iain Dale, like hundreds of bloggers before him has embraced the establishment. It doesn't make him an evil person. Just a misguided person. The abuse he recieved from 'fellow bloggers' when he was more anti establishment was relentless. 'fat poof' 'Mrs dale' 'old poof' were the more tame attacks. So where was his support when he was 'one of us ' ?
I read his blog to see what the establishment are thinking. Like I read 'The Scotsman' and 'The Herald' and the BBC to get the latest on the Labour party's thinking and ideology.
To keep dumping blogs because they go native and sticking to websites that are 'on message' is a dangerous route to follow.
Best to watch for the changes in blogs and learn how the establishment sucks up to popular bloggers and turns them.

Jim Baxter said...

Spot on. It turns out that all he ever wanted was to be accepted. He's gone from being a potential gadfly to a 'useful idiot'.

(Hat-tip to Mao Tse Tung for 'useful idiot').

Richard said...

Bob, agreed about reading a variety of blogs. Bloggers have the right to take whatever view they wish - that's the joy of the medium, and what gives the anti-establishment blogs the freedom to say what they do.

Iain Dale was the first blog I ever read, and I used to read him regularly - interesting scoops, good analysis, generally quite a reasonable guy. Now it's all self-promotion, either for his radio show or his publishing ventures. I delete most of his stuff unread from my RSS feed these days. I think he's jumped the shark with this issue, especially considering his reactions to some very reasonable comments - playing the man not the ball. I expected better of him.

As WW said there, time for some fresh air.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Ok, let me run this one by the doubters:

In 1967 some of us put flowers in our hair and declared universal peace, love and Donovan. So, it was a bit fey and a bit sentimental, but behind the hippie kaleidoscope was a real desire to stop the war in Vietnam, to denounce unfettered capitalism and to put two fingers up to the establishment. However ill-considered, however philosophically glib, hippies wanted a less proscriptive and more peaceful world. Elsewhere there was a revolution in music, in art and in literature. It had a tendency to be decadent, but what is for sure is that everyone remembers it. A similar thing happened in the 1890's.

What happened? It was mostly subsumed into the mainstream. In the immortal words of Danny the Hippie:

"They're selling hippie wigs in Woolworth's, man."

Yes, they were. I remember it, though actually it was plastic Beatle wigs.

Good ideas eventually all go mainstream. Once, blogging was done by a bunch of geeks in bedrooms. Then, a few clever people got hold of the idea. Then the mainstream derided it (and still do). And then the MSM decided to give it a go. But then, a funny thing happened. We produced the anti-blooger. Like the anti-Christ, the anti blogger has the appearance of the opposite that it should be.

Nick Robinson is an anti-blogger. Iain Dale is an anti-blogger and so, for one particular reason, so is Tom Harris.

Those mentioned are the tip of the iceberg. They have subverted the medium, called themselves "bloggers" and technically they are, but they are like the radio pirates who became DJs on Radio One. They have sold out the original idea, which was to be free from the constraints of the money men and the politicians and any agenda but there personal one.

Rebel Saint said...

Agree about Dale's blog ... just gets a cursory look-in from me now. I always feel like I'm being marketed too now. Though it is largely thanks to him that I found your good self WW. I used to come across your comments there (and at other places too) and they always resonated. And I was intrigued by the little Weasel avatar you used!

I've dumped Guido too. I always felt dirty after visiting there - especially if I read the 'comments'. And several very distasteful posts and a particularly distasteful cartoon made me decide I really shouldn't be giving him my patronage. Though I'd agree that he has remained faithful & consistent.

I take my hats off to the likes of your good-self ... independent, free-spirited, non-commercial. It is a thankless task and quite demanding. So as you shared your appreciation for us yesterday let me say "right back at y'" ;o)

Jim Baxter said...

Spot on again. Tom Harris, as we have discussed before, gave all the appearance at first of being the non-politician's politician. But the call to 'Let 100 flowers bloom' was withdrwan PDQ.

Now his blog is a near constant whine about IPSA and cheap jibes at Clegg (I don't care for him either but Harris is following the Party Line) and the most regular commenters are particulary cretinous cheerleaders. The word 'Stalinist' would credit them with too much critical awareness.

I took agin him a while ago but agin stopped being the word when I saw his election 'literature' (can pornography ever be 'literature'?), quoting (allegedly) an elderly lady constituent saying 'simply' that losing the winter heating allowance would be a disaster for her. The message was clear - the voters are simpletons and will assume that other parties have threatened to remove this allowance otherwise why mention it? Maybe he was right. Maybe they did assume that. There was a swing to Labour in Glasgow South.

WW and I both earned the appellation 'Commenter of the Week' in our time at Mr Harris's blog. 'Honoured' we said we were at the time, I seem to recall.

Ah well, fool me once...

And now Harris and Dale go to Cliff Richard concerts together and talk, no doubt, about the appalling nutters who comment on blogs.

And, as Richard says, Dale resorts to plain abuse sometimes if he gets pumped up the wrong way.

Hat-tip to Mao Tse Tung for 'Let 100 flowers bloom'

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Thank you RS. I know what you mean about Guido and feeling dirty. He seems to attract an awful lot of very abusive nutters. If that is what "traffic" is all about, I don't want it.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Jim, I think we agree about Tom. See the next post.

Houdini said...

I didn't comment on Dales support for what is the dishonest confidence trickster and shyster Woolas, mainly because I couldn't believe he offered his support, especially publicly.

Woolas only just scraped in with enough votes to win by portraying his opponent as a racist making wild and unsubstantiated claims, and it is generally accepted that he would have lost heavily if he had not run a confidence trick campaign to gain votes.

Bit Dale seems, clearly, to consider this fine as he says Woolas was made an MP by a majority of the electorate! So according to Dale, being elected is fine regardless of the way you conduct the campaign and however dishonestly you convince a majority of the electorate to vote for you? This is what he is saying and it is a disgrace and shows that it is no wonder he couldn't get a safe seat; he didn't deserve one.

He like too many others claiming to be bloggers, is a media whore and nothing else. Ton Harris I read now and again, but ultimately anyone giving true support to Labour can't be very bright or honest, so I stayed away for the most part.

Dave said...

I think Dale got too used to the life of a sleb. Too many invites to review the papers on Sky or offer an opinion on newsnight.

Who said that every man has his price?
Dale wanted to be famous. Nobody wanted him as their MP so he joined the MSM. You're right. I hardly look at his blog these days.