It's nearly 2 years since I started this blog and in truth I never thought I'd last this long. Many times I've had moments like the superb Calling England
and thought of quitting. But for one reason or another here I still am.
When I started I took the view that I wouldn't have many 'rules' and those that I did have I would make up as I went along. My basic rules, which I've largely stuck to, include; try to link to as many independent blogs as I can, always 'hattip' when appropriate and above all never link to Guido Fawkes - he doesn't even appear on my blogroll.
I have a number of reasons for not linking to Guido. Despite all his protestations of trying to bring down MPs, and being a libertarian, and so forth he's actually part of the system. He has no intention of changing a system that his blog depends upon - in effect he has become a useful safety valve for them. As a result his head is far up the MSM's rectum and this was much in evidence during the Damien McBride
affair. When the emails were leaked to Guido, he didn't have the courage to publish them on his own blog, despite it being hosted abroad as he is fond of telling us, instead he gave them to the MSM - the Sunday Times and News of the World
. So apart from receiving some emails and passing them onto newspapers I'm not sure what Guido's 'very important' role was?
He also fails to appreciate that we are no longer a self-governing nation. As an example he began a campaign to bring back capital punishment. Whilst an important debate with strong views on both sides, this is a policy that we are unable to re-introduce if desired whilst remaining members of the Council of Europe and the EU. However, despite this small detail being pointed out to him several times, he simply refused (or failed) to acknowledge the 'elephant in the room'. A pattern of behaviour that replicates the MSM.
Above all, my main objection is that he hardly ever links to other bloggers outside the Westminster circle of Conservative Home, Ian Dale and the usual suspects. So it is with some irony that we see this post - titled "Dead Tree Press Missing Click Tricks" from him yesterday (I'm not linking to it):
...newspapers like to pretend they are the font of all knowledge and will rarely acknowledge other sources. Guido is used to being referred to by newspapers as a mysterious unnamed gossip website whenever we are leading on some scandal the papers are too timid to touch.
Maybe that's true however...
In the case of our friendly commercial rivals at the Mail and the Telegraph we can only presume they don’t get it. In the last month for every reader referred to this blog by the Mail, Guido sent them 14 readers, for every reader sent by the Telegraph website, Guido sent them 12 readers. This asymmetry is counter-productive, Guido suspects they still have the print mindset, where a paper is held by the reader and holds onto the reader from cover to cover. Online the readers know the next story is really just a click away, anywhere and everywhere.
All the research suggests that linking-out doesn’t just give readers a better service, in increasing the utility to the reader websites get more traffic when they press the back-key to return, you don’t lose many. The Spectator is the biggest referrer to Guido followed by ConservativeHome, we in turn send them a fair chunk of traffic in return. Linking works in our mutual interests.
A demonstration of truly astonishing lack of self-awareness. He has become infected as a result of being in the 'Westminster Bubble' with his own self-importance.
It's the reason why, to me, that his blog often feels like reading about the internal squabblings of the Pylon Appreciation Society
whilst he ignores the looming energy crisis.