Speaking about lists… We didn’t do too badly on the Socialist Unity Top 101 left blogs… September 27, 2007Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left.
Okay, I was debating whether to post this, but gratitude won out over modesty and I think a serious thank you is necessary to Andy over at Socialist Unity. He placed us at Number 1 in a list of 101 left blogs from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Here at the CLR we’re both delighted and a bit awestruck to be placed in such company. I’ve already name checked Socialist Unity before here, and will do so again. In a curious way I’ve always seen it as doing something similar to ourselves in bringing together a number of different left voices which eschew identification with a single party (as they do, through the Socialist Unity Network). It would be interesting to analyse where our two blogs sit on the political spectrum in relation to each other, but I think a broadly non-sectarian approach, informed by various other ideological positions (obviously in our case specifically dealing with Republicanism and Unionism, and like Socialist Unity attempting to have a conversation where progressives in many formations, Green, Marxists, socialist, social democratic and other can be involved) which argues from the left of the larger left formations might be as good a way as any to put it.
Anyhow, I’d strongly recommend, whether people agree with the ranking or not, going through the blogs listed there. It’s a revealing and fascinating compendium, and as one might expect incorporates left blogs from widely different and indeed conflicting positions. I think that tells us something about Socialist Unity itself.
Another couple of small points about the list. The top two blogs (excluding Socialist Unity which Andy has put with outrageous modesty at 0) are ourselves and Splintered Sunrise. I’d argue about that order (actually I’d argue about the order of the top 101). But I think it is telling that they are both Irish based. I think that’s something that might be worthy of further investigation. It’s also been noted that there are Irish links in at least five of the top 10.
But another point. As you’ll perhaps have noticed, we also did well in Iain Dales listing compiled by Mick Fealty. Yet Andy notes today that there is a real danger that the view of left blogging through such lists can give a distorted view of the relative positions of different left formations. Most notably he reflects on how Lenin’s Tomb (which I’d have some criticisms of, but is clearly representative of a specific and widely read left position and moreover represents it forcefully and entertainingly) was 260th on the Dale list of left UK blogs. Hmmm… That can’t be right. And it does, as Andy says, narrow the consensus to one which regards the definition of ‘Left’ in the UK as being inherently one which contains the UK Labour Party and excludes other formations. That excludes so many as to be hardly workable. This is particularly so in blogging where it is often difficult to find sites without considerable digging. And maybe that is the best argument for such lists. Otherwise how on earth can we find out who writes what.
One of the most frustrating things about blogging is coming to blogs which need one to be signed into the specific platform that delivers them in order to post messages. It’s defeated me on numerous occasions because my password isn’t recognised by the platform, and this stops me from posting to many excellent blogs (for example Couanago and Spaves who share my leftism and a passion for 1980s Marxist bands)
BTW, not entirely sure why, but our hits since we got on both lists have gone down (it reminds me of an old shaggy dog SF story by – I think – James Blish about a substance that is superstrong because it’s perforated again and again and again until it becomes invisible weightless sheets of almost infinite strength. Perhaps that’s the way we’re going, more and more highly thought of but unknown to more and more people..!
Weirdly enough, I kind of like that… :)