A little less tribalism, a lot more conversation, please

by Stephen Tall on July 10, 2007

First days back at work are always a little bewildering – endless e-mails, voice-mails and post to sift through, while trying to maintain the after-effects of the energy boost gained. I’ve also plunged headlong back into the political ‘blogosphere’ after a week hermetically sealed away (a little damply) in Devon. And it is clear the imminent by-elections in Ealing & Southall and Sedgefield are exercising fellow bloggers quite considerably.

And, I will add – hastily – exercising them quite understandably. By-elections: you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Lib Dems are camped well and truly in the former field – it is a real test of our faith in activist-based pavement politics, and a rare chance for media exposure as the press is suddenly forced to remember that the age of two-party politics is dying. I certainly plan to do my bit to help the party in the next fortnight.

But let’s admit – if only to ourselves in the privacy of our blogs – that by-elections rarely show party politics in a good light. In fact, they show us, all of us, at our tribal worst.

Let’s take today’s exclusive story on Lib Dem Voice – that Tory campaign guru, Grant Shapps MP, has been seemingly caught impersonating a Lib Dem activist ‘admitting’ that the party can’t win in Ealing in a comment posted to YouTube.

First up, full credit to regular LDV contributor Mark Pack for spotting Mr Shapps’ clanger, a story which has now been picked up by both Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads and Paul Staines at Guido Fawkes. They both dismiss Mr Shapps’ defence – that his YouTube account was hacked, perhaps by nefarious political opponents – as chronically weak. (And who’d have thought they’d agree about something?) Mr Shapps’ honour is defended by Iain Dale, who breezily ascribes it to cock-up not conspiracy.

To me, it looks like a pretty clear case of caught-red-handed-bang-to-rights-guv for Mr Shapps. But then, that’s my point. Mandy Rice-Davies’s singular catechism applies: I would say that, wouldn’t I? I’m less likely to give the benefit of the doubt to Mr Shapps than I would if the shoe were on the other foot. Just as Iain is much happier believing Mr Shapps – whether he’s inventing an over-contrived excuse for pretending to be a demoralised Lib Dem member on the internet, or spreading unsubstantiated rumours of supposed Lib Dem campaigning skulduggery – than accepting what we in the Lib Dems might have to say.

This latest episode – Shappstick comedy, anyone? – won’t even achieve the status of Westminster village hothouse gossip. Today’s phosphorescent blog-wars will soon flame out, unnoticed by almost any members of the public.

But it is simply an exemplum of the distraction personality politics which rages during full-tilt by-election campaigns. Any issues that are discussed in the Ealing or Sedgefield campaigns will be painted in stark, clichéd, black-and-white, right-or-wrong terms. Real political debate (or any thought of more high-minded civic discourse) can go hang until the close of polls. ‘Get out the vote’ is what matters to all parties.

And it’s not just what the voters make of all this which bothers me – it’s why we, ‘the politicos’, continue to damage ourselves and the political process with our rampant tribalism.

Enjoy reading this? Please like and share:

5 comments

As it is all between about 200 political anoraks I’d say it was more harmless fun bordering on time-wasting childishness. One good thing that has come out of Shappsgate (and now Crawleygate?) is that people will perhaps now be less ready to indulge in sock-puppetry/astro-turfing which is a tedious practice.

by Paul Walter on July 11, 2007 at 6:05 am. Reply #

Indeed Stephen, Indeed!

by Cllr David Morton on July 11, 2007 at 1:11 pm. Reply #

I think you’ve credited Christine Keeler for a comment made by Mandy Rice-Davies

by paulW on July 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm. Reply #

Ahem, thanks, paulw. Article amended.

cheers, stephen

by Stephen Tall on July 11, 2007 at 7:14 pm. Reply #

msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
?ekilli msn nickleri
?ekilli nickler
güzel msn nickleri
frmtr
msn nickleri
.
.
.

wp themes
blogger templates
wordpress temalar?
wordpress themes
wp themes
wordpress temalar?
blogger templates
wp themes
blogger themes
blogger templates

erken rezervasyon
129.93.251.82
free link directory
e-directorylive
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
test atölyesi
testatölyesi
test atölyesi
testatölyesi
Msn Nickleri
free warez
Msn avatarlar?
free wordpress templates
free wordpress themes
free wp themes
free wp themes
free wp templates
blogger tips template
blogger template
blogger themes
free blogger templates
free blogger themes
wordpress templates
blogger templates

sandbox
msn nickleri
webmaster
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
dmoz
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
msn nickleri
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?

dmoz
alexa
kaiser_dealxa
seo uzman?
seo
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?

msn nickleri
msn nickleri
freewaresmania
msn nickleri
msn
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
todd livingston
a?k ?iirleri
a?k ?iirleri
haberler
msn nickleri
evden eve nakliyat
evden eve nakliyat
e-okul
health articles
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
credito
pret
msn nicknames
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
hilary duff
lazer epilasyon
lazer epilasyon
ramazan ay?
msn nickleri
msn spitznamen
msn nickleri
hayal bahçesi
?ark? sözleri
seo yar??mas?
msn nickleri
gafoloji
msn nickleri
msn nickleri

msn nickleri
tsubasa
ev dekorasyon

msn nickleri

yeni msn nickleri

msn avatarlar?

komik msn nickleri

delikanl? msn nickleri

güzel msn avatarlar?

?ekilli msn nickleri

msn avatarlar?

be?ikta? nickleri
a?k sevgi nickleri
duygusal msn nickleri
damardan nickler
dini nickler
nefret nickleri
nickler
rap nickleri
webmaster
backlink
kaiser_dealxa
wordpress temalar?
pagerank
seo
msn nickleri
romantik nickler
yaln?zl?k nickleri
yaz?l? msn avatarlar?
yeni msn nickler

dantel örgü modelleri
dantel oya modelleri
webmaster
alexa
supremacyshowtime
a?k nickleri
bebek nickleri
msn avatarlar?
webmaster
Kahraman Türkler
civciv
hayalbahcesi
Msn Nickleri
msn ifadeleri
Msn Nickleri
Msn Nickleri
msn nickleri
toddplivingston
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
basketbol
borsa
haberler
spor
müzik
iç haberler
futbol
yusuf
yusuf
yusuf
leylek
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
health articles
gafoloji
warez

[code]Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
webmaster[/code][code]
Kahraman Türkler[/code][code]
civciv[/code][code]
hayalbahcesi[/code][code]
Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
msn ifadeleri[/code][code]
Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code][code]
toddplivingston[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code]
[code]
msn nickleri[/code]
[code]
basketbol[/code]
[code]
borsa[/code]
[code]
d?? haberler[/code]
[code]
futbol[/code]
[code]
haberler[/code]
[code]
iç haberler[/code]
[code]
müzik[/code]
[code]
spor[/code]
[code]
voleybol[/code]
[code]
tarih[/code]
[code]
teknoloji[/code]
[code]
blogger themes[/code]
[code]
blogy navideno themes[/code]
[code]
msn nickleri[/code]
[code]
darlehen[/code]
[code]
health articles[/code]
[code]
grup hepsi[/code]

“iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?”

Msn avatarlar?

“iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?”

“iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yar??mas?”

msn

hayalbahcesi
forum merkezi
muhabbet
oyun merkezi
genel bilgiler

hayalbahcesi

hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
forum
komik
msn avatarlar?
tsubasa
vbulletin
a?k
sevgi
msn nickleri

by Anonymous on May 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm. Reply #

Leave your comment

Required.

Required. Not published.

If you have one.