Iain Dale calls it a day

Just found this out. I have to say something. After all Iain Dale is one of the reasons I started blogging. Until a year or two ago, Iain Dale's Diary was a must read. The rot set in long before he diversified into Total Politics and Biteback Publishing. The rot set in when he wanted to become an MP. As Tom Harris found out, unless you are a slavering toady, Central Office looks without sympathy at your witterings. It may have been a factor in Iain's failure to become the chosen candidate.

I had been reading Dale for at least as long as this blog has been running, and commenting almost on a daily basis. I occasionally got into the Daley Dozen and did a guest post on the blog. It boosted my blog considerably.

Sadly, and for at least 18 months, the blog has meandered downhill. Too many arses to lick is the usual real reason that high profile bloggers give up; they simply don't have anyone they dare slag off. His eye was certainly off the ball for most of that time and the posts had a depressing tendency to focus on the arcane machinery of Tory apparatus. When he did do something interesting or controversial it was the wrong thing. What finished it for me was his extraordinary support for Phil Woolas, to the extent that Dale publicly pledged £100 to the Woolas appeal fund. I have not commented on the blog since, and only visited it a couple of times. It was a long time coming, because the blog was by that time a puff platform for Iain Dale plc.

The strength of the Iain Dale blog was the man's evident humanity and normalness. He reacted to events as many of us did and was able to put his finger on the pulse of silent Britain and give a fair diagnosis. This facility went out long ago, victim to his other commitments, his TV appearances, his radio show, etc.

The end was nigh long ago. Iain Dale has got what he wanted. He is a member of the establishment. Iain Dale's Diary, in any meaningful sense is dead. Long live Guido.


Richard said...

"a puff platform for Iain Dale plc" - care to re-phrase that?

Agreed with all of it. The Woolas thing, and the criticism of the Panorama investigation (where he seemed to lose all logic and reason in replying to comments) did it for me.

Dale's was the first political blog (in fact, may have been the first blog) I ever read, and he was partly the reason why I started blogging myself. Shame, but I think it's for the best.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I was very careful how I spelled "puff" Richard.

Jim Baxter said...

It's probably as well for him that he didn't make it to be an MP. On the one hand the chicanery would have got to him and on the other he'd have been obsessively (those incessant lists) hard-working to the point of risking his health.

Yes. Not a risk all of them face, I agree.

Rebel Saint said...

I love your strap-line ..."6 Lack Lustre years". What is it they say, "If you hang around long enough you get to see all your enemies/competition float right past you"

They do seem to be dropping like flies at the minute. Your writing of late seems to have been prolific. Are you trying to take up the slack?! Unfortunately the upturn in your output has coincided with me deciding to spend less time on the internet. So I hardly have time to read & appreciate it all.

Since there's now only 3-4 blogs left which I like to read regularly, if you could moderate your output a little, I might now have time to take them all in!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Thank you RS for the encouragement. I need it, but I don't plan to pack it in just yet.

This is pure coincidence, but both Tom Harris and Iain Dale closed their blogs a few months after I stopped commenting on them or visiting them. The Curse of Weasel is a thing to be feared.