No, it is not a trick question about New Labour bigwigs and lickspittles.
They are, according to Iain Dale’s top blog listing, major bloggers and number 28th, 4th and 1st respectively.
I don’t want to start a blog war, but I confess that reading their work for the first time I can’t see why that the mutterings of an ex-deputy PM, a born Machiavellian and the Honourable member for Glasgow South are particularly notable.
I am sure there are plenty of other interesting political blogs not run by ex-politicians, professional seat warmers at Westminster or paid party officials, but Dale’s listing doesn’t convey that.
Still, I am glad to see that a few of my favourites made it into blog stardom, Bob from Brockley in at 47, The Daily (Maybe) in at 10 and A Very Public Sociologist beating most Blairite/Brown nosers in to 12th place.
And finally at 13, lucky for Dave Osler.
Oh, around the corner is Martin Bright coming in at 95, worth a read, he’s smart and thoughtful.
Update 1: I thought Andy Newman’s comment rather funny, and even insightful:
However, what is signally missing from this list is much sign of the blogs being used as a forum for strategic thinking by Labour Party members. Think back into the party’s past of how various publications provided the sounding board for new ideas when there was a crisis, for example how the magazine Voice of the Unions provided a catalyst for the left of the party to outgrow the social conservatism and legacy of Bevanite corporatism during the 1960s, or how the journal Socialist Commentary in the late 1940s allowed revisionist ideas to coalesce before their more high-profile publication in the New Fabian Essays in 1952.
The Blairite paradigm has been damaged but not yet decisively defeated, and yet there is very little evaluation and discussion about how a progressive centre left government could do things differently. For sure, the Compass website publishes articles with such an agenda, but the debate is very sterile, and the admirable Soundings magazine has not developed an engaging on-line presence. The fundamentalist left, around Labour Briefing and the LRC come over to me as a reenactment society, entrenched around maverick MPs like John McDonnell, and yet have no strategy for widening their influence in the party, nor any credible argument for how a move to the left would benefit the whole party in electoral terms – surely there comes a point when their desperate rear-guard defence of Bennism has to face facts that society has moved on, and left them behind.
Update 2: I am not too sure that Tory Team Dale actually check out the blogs they list, because being a bit lazy before I just cut’n’pasted Dave Olser’s link to the post, but its the wrong one. www.davidosler.com is his new address, since November 26, 2006, which suggests either the Tories compiling this list are slightly lazier than I (highly probable), or they couldn’t be arsed to check their own work. Still with Tories anything is possible.