Thursday, 26 March 2009

Blogosphere bubble?

You would have to be inhabiting a different blogosphere not to have noticed the frenzied excitement on anti-Labour blogs (ie most of them!) in relation to a speech made by MEP Daniel Hannan to the European Parliament.

Of course, only hardcore Brownites would deny that Mr Hannan's speech was a robust, effective and substantive demolition of the prime minister and his economic policies. And that's not to say that the substance of the speech is entirely beyond criticism.

However, Mr Hannan didn't really say anything that hasn't been said before, as he himself says, so why the blogosphere consternation that his speech received little coverage in the MSM?

Perhaps the explanation is that the adulation afforded to Mr Hannan wasn't based on substance at all; it has arisen because of the particular circumstances of the speech, in particular that Gordon Brown was present in the Parliament when the dressing down was delivered, which clearly appeals to the more ad hominem nature of much of the criticism directed towards the prime minister.

By the same token, blogger extraordinaire Iain Dale describes as "woeful" an interview given by treasury minister Angela Eagle on the BBC's Newsnight, claiming that she "crashed and burned". Ms Eagle did indeed completely avoid Jeremy Paxman's persistent questioning about the governor of the Bank of England's caution regarding another fiscal stimulus, but isn't this what politicians of all parties are particularly adept at? It was little more than the usual Paxo v politician scenario of irresistible force meets immovable object, and Ms Eagle acquitted herself well in the 'answer any question but the one asked' stakes!

Of course, it was the substantive development of the governor's warning that the MSM concentrated on yesterday - The Times carried a rare double-length leader, for example - rather than the political theatre of the Hannan speech.


Political Dissuasion said...

I will concede my 'frenzied excitement', but I am no anti-Labour blogger.

Yes, it was partly becuase Gordon was there that this was so well received, but also because, despite everything having been said before, nobody had said it all in one, in the same speech and in a fair reflection of how many people feel. He fannies about at PMQs and doesn't face the real world these days and just sits in his bunker thinking "I'm going to save the day".

Yeah, it's all a bit of an overreaction, and it's not been on the main news before now because as you say, it was all the same things that have been said before. But when the public saw THIS speech, they connected with it and that's what makes this a hoo-ha worth taking notice of.

Stuart Winton said...

PD, I can't really disagree with most of what you say, but I doubt if it's really resonated with the *public* too much (as opposed to the anti-Labour part of the blogosphere) if only because the vast majority of the public will be totally oblivious to it!

Aye We Can ! said...

Come on - in political speech making, context is everthing, and Hannan speech had everything. A pretty full euro parliamet , a belleagured yet still pious and pompous Prime mister, and this unknwn upstart of a Euro MP dishing him wil te camerss rolling. And elloquently.

I am no tory, didn't even agree with what he said about further fiscal stimulus, but this was a truly memorable moment. The bloggers and others were right to get excited about it ( look at these YouTube views and te spped with which they are growing)
Beyonce woudk struggle to keep pace.

In politics, this was about as good as it gets. Like Kinnock dishing Militant all these years ago. Sir Geoffey Howe filleting Maggie with his deadpan destruction.

Top marks Mr Hannan - and I suspect I oppose near all he stands for.

Stuart Winton said...

Aye We Can, yes you're right, but it was political theatre rather than substance, whereas I think the Kinnock/Howe moments had a substantive element as well.

You're right about the context though, and the fundamental point in this regard was merely that Broon was present. If you look at the context from another angle - an MEP's speech to the European Parliament - then it's dull as ditchwater.

To me the most interesting facet of the occassion is how the internet latched onto the speech, not the speech per se.