Monday, January 08, 2007

A few issues from a Higham perspective

1] Ian is about to post and I support what he's written wholeheartedly.

2] Tom Paine is doing a sterling job getting those testimonials out and I have to admit, with my current medical woes, I haven't checked out the current crop yet but will do so after this post, before crashing.

3] The BNP thing. All right, what we have here are three separate and yet interrelated situations:

a. The libertarians will leave Blogpower the moment we go against our originally stated principle of free membership and free speech.

b. The not-so-libertarians will leave if we don't do something about vetting the membership.

c. I think there is a strong case that the BNP is enjoying all this and trying to swamp blogpower with their members. I'm not a total idiot not to see that. I don't know how much they care about Blogpower as an initiative - it seems to me they're testing our resolve.

OK. So my suggestion, [James Higham only, as the nourishing obscurity blogger], is that we categorize our blogroll into, say:

# Mainly lifestyle
# Technica
# Travel
# Mainly music and film
# UK politics left of centre
# UK politics right of centre
# UK politics patriotic
# US politics right
# US politics left
# US politics other
# Other countries

etc. etc. etc. This is only a suggested list. People like Tim Almond would be difficult to categorize.

So, each category leads to a roll for that category. This has two advantages:

a. The increasingly long and ragged looking blogroll becomes neat and one size at all times.

b. Political organizations can then join up to their heart's content and would go into a category.

In the case of a political party, say, they could have hundreds of blogs in their category, whilst Travel might have only three. This effectively ends the possibility of one pressure group swamping Blogpower and destroying it.

4] I don't understand [still in my Higham hat] why you bother going to Central News and arguing and getting all upset if you dislike the guy. If he doesn't bother you, then go there. If he bothers you, then don't.

5] I'll not be able to reply to any of this because tomorrow I have a little op and don't see myself back at the keyboard until Wednesday morning. Did you see Tim Worstall's and Devil's Kitchen's posts. I'll link them Wednesday, if that's not too late.

17 comments:

youdontknowme said...

I think there is a strong case that the BNP is enjoying all this and trying to swamp blogpower with their members

I thought I was the only BNP member? Where is the swamping of the BNP? What about the swamping of the none BNP?

I think you are becoming a little hysterical.


I don’t think we need to have the links categorised yet.

The Tin Drummer said...

Agree completely James, the categorisation sounds like a good idea.

Ian Grey said...

Libertairians believe in free association- freedom of speech is for the public sphere and this is effectively private property.

I'm not entitled to have my odious (i.e. non-collectivist)views published in the Guardian. I can, however, set up my own rabid small government rag without fear of State retribution. (Actually I can't, as there are all sorts of silly laws defining what minorities are so repressed as to require protection from offense).

Once being a fat bastard gets defined as a victim status I'll be fine, although I suspect it won't trump being a non-Christion or GLTG.

Bel said...

I don't really see the need for the categories. I don't get what it is supposed to achieve. Then again, I have no problem with things as they now stand.

PS. If this goes ahead, I presume the BNP will be categorised as a far-left party, and not a far-right one. :)

Ian Grey said...

I do see the point of categories if it means that the blogroll in the sidebar is half the length it is now rather than ever expanding downwards.

As for political categories, then we have the BNP described as both neo-Facist & State Socialist but the left/right meter lets us down here. Connact a DC meter to AC and it will point to the centre- but inside it is tearing itself apart.

(Not that it is relevant, but I thought it was an interesting metaphor).

Spicy Cauldron said...

Well, I'm deeply disturbed at the idea of carrying a blogroll on my site that has even one link to a site belonging to someone from the BNP. That's my conviction. I respect others' rights to think and see things differently.

I mean, come on, not only is it going to inflame and offend anyone who is black, Jewish, Asian, gay, lesbian, disabled and more, but it's going to offend most white people whatever their more mainstream political persuasions.

This comes at a time when Tories and Labour are both chewing over the problem that is the BNP, both of those parties considering how to address the threat the BNP poses in key marginal areas.

The BNP is ultimately against free speech and freedom of choice, and many other freedoms we enjoy, yet uses them and will continue to use them until it is either stopped or succeeds in gaining power (admittedly that last one is unlikely), at which point freedom of speech and any freedom whatsoever for anyone who isn't white, heterosexual and thuggish would disappear overnight. As would many people.

The suggestion put forward seems tortuous, and prone to argument and conflict if we're to see people put into shaded categories. Far simpler to say no to anyone who advocates violence as a means to an end or seeks to engender division on the grounds of race, creed, sexuality, whatever.

I've got to give some serious consideration to this. One BNP member - just one - can undermine and destroy the great idea that is DtB. x

Matt M said...

I realise this isn't an ideal solution, but would it not be possible to have two blogrolls - one linking to everyone, the other minus those who prove controversial?

Ian said...

Matt, I've been thinking along similar lines myself, but don't see how it would work - we would still have the debate over who is controversial...

Spicy Cauldron, I concur with everything you say. To pick up on just one point, categorisation is contentious, and, anyway, I wouldn't want to feel constrained in what I cover on my blog. How could we take account of James' eclectic output, for example?

I've been wondering about a sort of "Who's who in Blogpower", which I think Puddlejumper suggested earlier - apologies if I've misattributed. If we did it in Blogger, then we could have a thread per member, in which everyone who felt so minded could give praise or indeed warning. This would be a reference for outsiders, and a source for us to cut and paste testimonials.

But: 1] it still doesn't remove the stigma of being associated with extreme views (nor does one or more unmoderated blogroll, come to that, with or without categories), and 2] it's all a bit unwieldy. There must be some better ideas out there? [I don't wish to criticise Puddlejumper, here, just my own vision of how it might work]

I could go on, but alas I have to simply go.

Ian said...

PS can I suggest we now take this debate onto the most recent post to make it more simple to follow?

Matt M said...

we would still have the debate over who is controversial...

How about just setting an arbitrary but acceptable rule - if six or more people want you off the main roll you're off? With perhaps the chance to post a defence/appeal on this blog?

youdontknowme said...

I mean, come on, not only is it going to inflame and offend anyone who is black, Jewish, Asian, gay, lesbian, disabled and more, but it's going to offend most white people whatever their more mainstream political persuasions.

We have jewish, gay and disabled members. One of our resident jews is a councillor.



The BNP is ultimately against free speech and freedom of choice

Look at their manifesto. We aren’t against any of that. We support citizens referenda on the Swiss model and we support a bill of rights for all.



Why don’t you just put BNP in brackets after my site name if you don’t like it?

Out From Under said...

"PS. If this goes ahead, I presume the BNP will be categorised as a far-left party, and not a far-right one. :)"

Absolutely, the BNP are a socialist (left wing) party.

I am right of centre and a patriot, where would my blog go? I expect there are plenty of patriots right and left, what is the separate patriotic category for? Would we be listed in both?

james higham said...

OK, people, just read this and some good points made. I think, Bel, we do need a categorized blogroll, just to cut down our sidebar space.

At the moment we are still debating. I plan to [if the other admins are willing], run a poll in the sidebar [subject to member review of course, putting the main options and then we simply vote on the issue.

As for the BNP as far-left - that's not our choice. Any categorization needs to be acceptable to that blogger and that's why I suggested Patriot for the BNP. It has SFA to do with what we think - it's what they might accept. People would know the code very quickly.

Anyway, time, I think, for the poll in the next couple of days.

The Tin Drummer said...

We could categorise eclectic blogs under "eclectic".

If we are to start banning people because they're offensive to whoever then let us at least follow matt's idea and make it vaguely democratic; although that will probably lead to all sorts of campaigns in the future. I also agree that I think the BNP will be laughing at us here: we're doing a lot of their work for them here by allowing a good voluntary collective to become divided.

Onyx Stone said...

I do not like the idea. As Bel suggested, I think the BNP is far-left. Others say it is far-right.

As for my own blog, I don't really want to be labeled one side or the other.

Matt M said...

The BNP advocate some policies which are left-wing and some which are right-wing. Unless we want to get bogged down in a fairly pointless debate (with left-wingers and right-wingers throwing the BNP back and forth, trying desperately to dissociate themselves) it might be an idea to come up with a different category. Either "Nationalist" or simply "BNP".

youdontknowme said...

Why don't we just put BNP in brackets right after my blog name? people can decide before clicking then.