It seems the world of blogs is rather like the early Internet – made by Americans for Americans.
Searching for political blogs, certainly, leads you to all manner of well-produced, highly-opinionated US blogs and you have to quickly remind yourself that left means liberal and liberal means left not soggy centre as in Britain.
Some of the US blogs though are great and the link to the Lefty Directory in my Republic of Blogs section on the right will take you to some of the best US lefty blogs.
While I am interested in US politics and media, the blog experience just isn’t the same for the outside reader. It is not that Americans can’t be funny (some of my best friends are funny Americans) but reading the blog we don’t really get the joke most of the time. We don’t share the same points of reference, we don’t know who the hated right-wing talk show host is.
It is a matter of time but I think that as with the net in general, Europe and the UK will catch up with the US in blogland – but we should get cracking.
Alister Black produces a good weblog from Scotland called Perspective . Alister is a member of Tommy Sheridan’s Scottish Socialist Party and whatever you think of the politics, the SSP are at least the only party in the British Isles to have a party news weblog, (another Alister project). I don’t see why campaign groups and others can’t follow suit – it is a great way to communicate directly with people.
From the other end of the political spectrum Conservative Commentary is another example of how the medium can be used by a political individual. A simple design, ample links to all manner of conservative stuff on the web and a regularly updated main blog make this a lively site for British conservatives. The key to it though is well-written and well-argued opinion from the blogger himself. Surely others could follow suit and I can’t believe that no-one from the Labour Party, the Lib Dems or fringe parties can manage to put together a blog.
Political debate via mailing lists and discussion boards has become a disaster – dominated by dogmatic extremists of the left and right – surely blogging is a way to create a more sane political debate on the net?
Of course if you spot any decent political or current affairs sites from the UK or Europe then click here and send me a mail.