The inimitable Bob Piper, who sits on my council but alas does not represent my ward, is a hoot on the subject of Iain Dale’s Iaincentric world, and certainly this story is now far, far bigger than him. We expect more details of the contents of those emails tomorrow, and the next target will surely be Tom Watson, himself a noted political blogger. As Political Betting had it this morning:
Email, text bulletins and online donations played their part in Barack Obama’s campaign, and Ron Paul didn’t really leave the internet at all. But more than the use of these tools, the most important impact of New Media on the 2008 elections in the US (and the 2006 Midterms before them) was in breaking ‘Snipergate’ (Hillary’s remembrances of Bosnia), the George Allen ‘Macaca’ scandal that cost him his Senate seat in Virginia, the leaking of the Rev Wright sermons on YouTube, the ‘birth certificate’ questions, the Bristol Palin pregnancy, and Obama Girl. These were picked up by TV Networks and Newspapers, and characterised the campaign and drove its narrative.
It’s not the effect of a single blog which is most interesting and different here. It’s the interconnectedness of all these writers, and the combined weight of their comment – although it is also true that, like any blogosphere, there is also a sense of its own self-importance. Whatever, high times for the UK political blogosphere, which has before now been very much the poor relation compared to the US’s.