Sunday, June 10, 2007

I never wanted the love that you showed me

There is no British netroots, and God forbid there ever will be.

Why? Well, the original thing is/was an effort to mobilise the grassroots support of the US Democratic Party, to shove in the underpinning of a mass party that it doesn't really have. This was intended to a) supply activists and donations, and b) exert a leftward pressure on the party leadership. This doesn't really translate in British terms, because British political parties are much more substantial organisations than the US ones.

Not only do they have long-term mass memberships, they have a professional organiser caste and an ideological history. They also enjoy much more tribal loyalty. What worries me about any attempt, as Sunny "Pickled Politics" Hundal seems to want, to lash the Internet community in the UK to any one political party. In the US, the problem is that one party has gone berserk and dragged the Overton window off across the countryside with it. The corrective is to whack it in the teeth.

In the UK, the problem isn't one of Westminster democracy but Whitehall and off-Whitehall democracy, something we've arguably never had. (Pickled, by the way, is doing something useful in being a much less London-focused blog, but that's for another time.) I would far prefer that blogs stayed like Lawrence's army - "a thing without front or back, drifting about like a gas", agreeing on a few but powerful rules, trying to enlarge the zone of sanity.

(PS, the other night I met Daniel Davies, Tess, and Sunny. That would be Dsquared, Shesquared, and Psquared, right?)

4 comments:

dd said...

hahaha that's fantastic. I don't know if you noticed, but that pub also had Budweiser on draft and I wasn't touching it.

Dean said...

You have to remember that we don't have coalition government in the US. What we have here is a failure to communicate and two parties that are really the same party pretending to be two parties. Seriously, it's a real mess and the "loyal opposition" feeds at the same trough as the majority party, so it goes along, but not to get along. It goes along to get its share of the pork barrel. The government as it currently stands represents the majority stockholders in major corporations and little else. This is why we have such an active netroots. It's simply a matter of politically aware people trying to seize whatever means they can to change the system to something that better represents what they perceive as their interests. You'd have a netroots movement in the UK if politically aware people in the UK perceived the situation as we do in the US.

Sunny said...

I think that is sort of looking at the netroots revolution through a narrow lense (i direct that at the last poster). It it also about a broader liberal movement online and giving people the tools to participate in democracy.

Nice to have met up with you folks tho!

Stephen said...

netroots turns ya piss red

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