THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Englishmen abroad

Start the Week with an insult

Link: BBC - Radio 4 - Start the Week.

Waiting for my transfer to the airport yesterday morning, I listened to Radio 4. What a smug noise that station makes. Archsycophant to the PM, Andrew Marr, was hosting a discussion with Susan Pinker, Simon Russell Beale, Marina Warner and Clay Shirky, which touched briefly on blogging. In the course of five minutes (tops) the political blogosphere in Britain was dismissed as comprising mainly young, “libertarian” (spoken through a curled lip detectable even by radio), single men with too much time on their hands.

I plead guilty to being a man and a libertarian. I was also once young, but alas no more. Do I have time on my hands? Well, I run a business I built from a standing start in the last five years, which turns over several million pounds, employs 25 people and is still growing fast. I am responsible for overseeing and developing a network of other such businesses, which involves constant travelling. I think it's fair to say I am a busy man, but I  manage my time and resources. I blog in airports, in the back of taxis or from my iPhone on the way to and from work. I blog as I read my morning “newspaper” (a collection of feeds from the Guardian, Times, Telegraph and my favoured blogs).

Nor am I the only non-spotty blogger. Guido is a mature man who made his pile and now pursues other interests. Ellee Seymour and Ian Dale would not like their ages mentioned but the first flush of youth is undeniably fading. Bel is coy about her age but remembers Margaret Thatcher directly, rather than through the Gothic glass held up by a generation of leftist teachers. Wat Tyler is of a slightly riper vintage than myself. Nor are all the above male, by any means (or libertarian).

What is with the age sneer, anyway? Did none of these pompous panellists express political opinions when young? I rather suspect they did. So what, precisely, was their point?

This was not intelligent commentary. It was a put-down, based either on wilful ignorance or dishonesty. Amusingly, not 10 minutes before, Shirky was praising Facebook for allowing “ordinary people” to campaign against big corporations.

So the internet is fine when used to campaign against big corporations, but not against big government? What else can one expect from our dear old leftist Aunty?