Monday, September 27, 2010

What is it with politician bloggers?

I must admit I haven't been following the battle for placings on the SNP's regional lists next year very closely, so I'm unaware of what the battle-lines have been. But on the face of it, it's very surprising to see Anne McLaughlin - the party's most high-profile politician blogger - slip to just 8th place on the Glasgow list, ie. with essentially no chance of being re-elected to Holyrood unless she wins an FPTP seat. I presume (and trust) it would be well wide of the mark to in any way blame her downfall on her blog. But to look at it the other way round, it's startling that it appears to have been no particular help to her either, particularly given the very moving way she used it to further the campaign to keep Florence and Precious Mhango in Scotland.

But perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised - Iain Dale has used his blogging activities to build himself up as one of the most-recognised Conservative commentators in the UK, and yet incredibly that got him absolutely nowhere in his lengthy quest for a winnable seat at the last election. And of course there are strong suspicions that Tom Harris' blog was a contributory factor in Gordon Brown's decision to sack him as a minister, so much so that Harris has now declared that his hoped-for reappointment to the Labour frontbench would herald the end of And Another Thing. So it really does seem that for politicians with ambition, blogging is at worst a severe career hazard, and at best a superfluous hobby.


  1. Feel sorry for Anne...God knows what else she could have done to get a decent place on the list. Holyrood will be a lesser place without her if she doesn't win Glasgow Provan.

  2. I do feel sorry for Anne but alas most party members in Glasgow may not have seen her blog or any other blog.


  3. Entirely agree, Ezio.

    Marcia - that's probably true, Scottish political blogs (with a small handful of exceptions) seem to be relatively little-read.