From time to time I get emails from people telling me either how much they like the blog or telling me what a tosser I am. Forgive me if I don't print the latter ones, but this one arrived this evening, which has brought a warm glow to my heart. Because if half what he says is true it makes the time I spend on this blog worthwhile.
Sorry to just email you like this out of the blue. I've followed your blog for a while now (can't remember how I stumbled across it). I love it and I must say, I'm quite a young person and my interest in British politics until I found your blog and Guido's was minimal. I find your blog shows politics in a slightly more realistic light than BBC/ITV etc, you seem truly independent of the whole shebang.
Anyway, I have forwarded the link to my friends, all of whom to be honest were not interested in politics one jot, although upon reading your blog they have taken a new interest in such matters. I think it is because you report the 'underbelly' of it all, the briefing etc. Guido is also a big hit among my friends because of his 'I don't care' attitude! Blogs like yours and Guido's go into the nitty gritty of politics. You shine a spotlight and pick up stories the MSM would never touch. 'Who watches the watchman?' Well now it's bloggers.
My friends and I (all of whom are under 25) are much more receptive to this form of reporting/blogging and how easily it is accessed (RSS Feed etc, the wit of the delivery. We don't want to read some dry, humourless byline or weekly column!). It's a more realistic and engaging presentation of politics and how it works. If you go to news.bbc.co.uk/politics it is like a message board for whatever ridiculous New Labour 'initiative' they have dreamt up. Obesity/Health & Safety blah blah!
I don't buy this line that 'young people are not interested in politics' We are, although it has to be presented in a manner in which young people who have grown up with the internet feel is relevant to them. A young person is more likely to access something on Youtube than watch the TV, we don't sit about and accept the status quo. We decide for ourselves how we access information, it's very much on our terms. We don't watch the 6 News on BBC1, we have the RSS feeds of numerous websites/blogs in our RSS readers.
I find it refreshing that a man such as yourself grasps this instinctively. If the Tory party 'get' this concept and harness it, they will be well on their way to mobilising a significant number of young people to vote in their favour. I find it mind-boggling that Labour are so far behind on this concept! Anyway, I am sorry to blab on like this. I wish you all the best in the future for your blog and I sincerely hope you become an MP. Although, if you do, please remember to keep blogging with your trademark wit and humour.
Good one, Barry. I know Francis Maude reads this blog and he'll want to take note of the beginning of the last paragraph.