THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
The Yorkshire Ranter's brilliant idea
Is Tim Worstall weird?

Lady Bracknell meets the Blogfather

Iain Dale for Bracknell.

That Iain wants to be an MP is clear. Why he wants it is less clear, at least to me. As a leading blogger and in-demand mainstream media pundit, he is reasonably influential. As a backbench MP, he will be a cipher.

70% of legislation comes from Brussels and, on the remaining 30%, our so-called "legislators" vote as directed by their party leaders. There is no sign that David Cameron will whip his troops any less aggressively than Gordon Brown. Indeed since press and public obsess about the "strength" or "weakness" of the party leaders far more than about the abysmal quality of our legislation, he will have little choice. Frankly, though I defer to no-one in my respect for Iain's media skills, I rather doubt he could improve the quality of any legislation if he wanted to.

MPs must toe the party line, which is why most MPs blogs are partisan, tedious and a general waste of pixels. Like him or loathe him, Iain is a great communicator. I am sure he will eventually get his political wish, but what will it mean for (pace the racier, but less influential Guido) Britain's leading political blog?

Tellingly, Iain Dale's Diary does not get much of a mention (I can find one link) on Iain's Bracknell campaign website. This, despite the fact that most Brits to whom the word "blog" means anything, would probably think first of him when they heard it.Perhaps he knows that, as a socially-liberal, reasonably freedom-loving backbench MP serving a paternalistic watermelon of a High Tory leader, he could no longer be the Blogfather?


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Don't think we'll see her all that much.

Young Mr. Brown

"press and public obsess about the "strength" or "weakness" of the party leaders far more than about the abysmal quality of our legislation"

Well said! But depressing.

(Perhaps Mr. Dale does not anticipate remaining long on the back benches?)

Kevyn Bodman

20 odd years ago Arthur Scargill didn't want to become an MP because backbenchers have no power and very little influence.
The status of backbenchers hasn't grown since then.
I think you are right that Iain Dale would be more influential outside Parliament.
Because I don't live in the UK I miss out on almost all the spoken-word assessments of British political life, but I am a little surprised that you say that Iain Dale is more influential than Guido.
I can only speak for my own individual response, and I know that not all my ideas are soundly in the mainstream, but I rate Guido higher.

Thomas Byrne

We might see some more interesting things on the blog if he's a backbencher in regards to gossip - that is if anyone wants to risk saying anything to him.

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