Saturday, 7 February 2009

What are the left blogs to watch? Your tips please

The Young Fabians are getting in on the blogging act at

Louise Selisny's post on the Lindsey strikes was something we picked up from the Greater Manchester Fabians' local society blog at

The arrival of LabourList has coincided with and contributed to a major blogging push at the top end of our no longer top down (work in progress) party.

John Prescott is blogging for Go Fourth. Several people have suggested that John's response to Iain Dale's scepticism about whether it was really him may just have been the moment when Labour showed that it 'got it'. Blogging is about conversation, not broadcasting; and that personality, authenticity, and humour can help.

Alastair Campbell has accounced his conversion to the need to blog too. LabourList itself has a Marmite quality (though I hate Marmite). If it has not won any popularity contests in the established political blogosphere, it is one route which bringing a broader range of Labour people - some in Westminster, some at the grassroots - into the online conversations, and massively increasing the salience of online political discussion and activism for the not naturally web-savvy. As LabourList develops, it could certainly do with more contributions which are distinctive from what the party would publish on its official website. I get the sense that Derek Draper and Tom Miller know that. (I am among the contributors, so ought to contribute to that goal myself). While it will doubtless be among the most significant hubs for increased Labour and left blogging activity, this is going to have to be an pluralist exercise or it will fail.

So let a thousand flowers bloom. And do please let us know about other blogs we should know about - your own political blogging (do also let us know if you are a Fabian member too) and other left blogs you enjoy reading, so that we can keep an eye on them for interesting talking points and items to flag up, and add some of your recommendations when we update to the left links blogroll here on Next Left.


Peter Jones said...

Not purely 'political', but a highliy eclectic space on related themes combining health, education, inclusion and informatics.

Welcome to the QUAD

- a space to reflect on a HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE model with UNIVERSAL POTENTIAL, its development and the 'here and now'. There are lots of plans, but I need some help. How long have we aspired to deliver holistic, integrated care in theory, policy and practice? Problems demand basic universal cognitive, educational and reflective tools for use by individuals, groups and the global health care community.

Hodges' model incorporates a POLITICAL knowledge domain:

Best regards

Peter Jones

mnottingham said...

Hi I'm a Fabian and also a grassroots Labour Thanet councillor blogger
in Kent where my fellow cllrs Dave Green and Mike Harrison also blog
have alook at my blogroll and those of my colleagues for my ideas.
Mark Nottingham

DocRichard said...

Not sure if you count green as "left" but the Mabinogogiblog is worth a surf.

PaulinLancs said...

Thank you for seeking recommendations on good left blogs.

Mine, the Bickerstaffe Record at, is by far the best in the UK, and amongst the top three in the world according to a local opinion poll I've just carried out.

It should be ready daily by everyone. I am glad to have been of assistance.

Rayyan said...

Labour gets online campaigning, or is starting to get it? Erm, no. LabourList is a bit of a sham, as outed by Labourist. Cath Bennett's article in the Observer shows that Labour's fundamentally top-down nature is never going to mesh well with the open-ended philosophy of internet politics.

You see, the main problem with what you are trying to do is that you've not understood one of the main reasons Obama's campaign worked so well was that he promised something people really wanted: change. Labour, which will have been in power for 12 years by this May, cannot sell itself on a concept of 'change': right now, it's only real narrative is that the last thing Britain needs to do is change its government. There are other ways that you just don't "get it"; but I'll let Cath Bennett spell those out.

noel said...

here are some of the blogs we at compass youth enjoy - of course next left is on there as well as others.

Joker said...

What you said, Rayyan.

Ironically, James Green of the Fabian Society has spoke of emulating Obama in this country. As he's standing as a Labour PPC in a town where only the Conservatives and Lib Dems have won before, 'change' should definitely be his watchword. But as he, like his lord and master before him, Parmjit Dhanda, lives in London, maybe he should box clever about his birth certificate too. Dhanda inherited the seat from Tess Kingham. Green will have no such advantage. For all his talk about the role the internet played in Obama's victory, Green's site seems to have vanished completely, when only a few months back, you could Google 'James Green', and see it at the top of the page.

Don't think he's in it to win it anymore...