Harry's Notebook,  Reflection

What have we learned from two decades of blogging?

Harry’s Place published its first post on 24 November 2002. Admin1 posted this then :


Thanks for popping in. So what is this all about then?

Well, weblogs are an excellent way of pointing people in the direction of interesting items on the web and that is all this site aims to do. Mostly the links will be to articles dealing with contemporary politics but the whole point is that a weblog can be as eclectic as you want it to be. The US has a thriving weblog scene, Europe, where I happen to live at the moment, has a more modest collection but I reckon that will change in time.

A lot of people like their politics in neat packages and there will be some of you who I am sure would like to know what my poltical outlook is? Well as a student I trained in Marxism and I am glad I did. I still happen to think that a materialist view of the world offers the best way of trying to grapple with the word is certainly preferable to any of the alternatives – especially religion. So this a left weblog.

But I have a lot of problems with what remains of the old socialist left – it has become a largely conservative force and many elements of it have now become essentially reactionary, lacking in any sense of progressive morality, any vision of a better world. On the other hand the Blairites have rejected even the most basic of social democratic principles.

Finding a new course for progressive democratic socialist politics is not easy and like many others I am involved in the search for ideas and like anyone who is serious about political thinking, my outlook is still under construction….


This is post number 20 354, nearly two decades later. HP started with bloggers expressing their issues with the old  socialist left while firmly nailing their allegiance to progressive Labour. These days it is difficult to evaluate the state the political  left it is in. It reigns supreme in academia, the media and the arts, and certainly has a much more dominant position in the corporate world than it used to. It has birthed progressive cults like the wokes and handheld socio-political movements like BLM. Zoomers are rediscovering tankie politics or some version of it anyways. However many traditional left parties in Europe and in the UK are in a moribund state and the electorate is constantly warned against the lure (and evil) of  rightwing populism.

Many of the commenters here have grown with HP, and the predominant mood btl seems to be  cynicism and pessimism. I thought it might be instructive to take a look back at HP archives as we approach our 20th anniversary and take stock of our progress. HP was right about many things and ahead of the curve, compared to national media, on issues like identity politics and Corbynism’s baleful effect. HP was wrong about …well take look at  posts from the way back machine and let us know.