First, you just have to wonder who entrusted this Labour blogging effort to Derek Draper, a notoriously hot-head with a profound lack of tolerance for people whose points of view differ from his own. And on a more practical level, as far as I can see he has absolutely zero track record as a political blogger (or any other variety of blogger). Such is Draper’s reputation as a loose cannon that those senior people who entrusted him ‘deliver for the blogosphere’ (and I’ve little doubt that’s what was promised) then they must be utterly clueless about the internet or so desperate that they’ll go along with anyone vaguely plausible and familiar...
...So, what’s to do? The bad news is that I don’t think it’s likely that Labour will get its blogging groove on in time for the next election. The good news is that it probably doesn’t matter much. Labour should forget about trying to win the battle of the blogs. It’s probably a lost cause and anyway I’m not convinced it matters in terms of winning elections. What really matters is something altogether less glamorous. And that is a really coherent and responsive email-driven supporter mobilisation strategy. Even at 30 per cent in the polls, Labour does have tens of millions of supporters it should be communicating with, many of whom have email. It’s not about technology. John McCain had all the same e-mobilisation tools as Barack Obama he just didn’t use them nearly so well. If the next general election is close (and looking at the polls, that’s a big IF) this could turn out to be an important difference between the parties. In the meantime someone should either pull the plug on Labourlist or at the very least ditch Draper and limit the damage.
Perish the thought. Interestingly, in the comments on Thurston's article, Alex Hilton of Recess Monkey comes out into the open and agrees with his analysis. Virtually every other Labour blogger I have been in communication with thinks the same. When will they be brave enough to say it?
Perhaps all Conservatives need to launch a campaign to SAVE DOLLY. If you want a good laugh click on this Twitter feed of what the Twitosphere makes of Draper's rantings.
PS I had decided to take a vow of silence on Draper this week, but it's too entertaining not to comment on it.
UPDATE: Dizzy and Mark Pack both have new takes on the DraperList car crash.