Thursday, April 05, 2007

Why I haven't commented on the Iranian hostage story

A good friend emails me to ask why there is nothing on the blog about the release of the 15 Britons taken captive in Iran. Like other bloggers, I get these sorts of inquiries fairly regularly, so I thought it might be helpful to publish the entire exchange just to clear up any confusion about what the purpose of this blog actually is.

To protect his identity (well, a bit) I shall call my friend Nosey.

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Paul,

Nothing about the just-finished Iranian affair on your thog - sorry, blog. Surely this is pure politics (albeit of a different nature)?

Nosey

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Nosey,

I don't really feel I have anything particularly new or original to say about the hostages issue so I haven't covered it. My blog is not a current events news service - people can go to the bbc or any other news website for that sort of thing.

This is something I regularly have to point out to blog users who ask me in the comments why I haven't done this or that story.

Cheers,

Paul

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Paul,

I see what you mean, but there is a whole load of comment about what actually happened. The actual news would be pretty boring - "Hostages Captured" ... "Both sides get hot under the collar" ... "Hostages released" ... but the things that intrigue me are why did Ahmadinejad do what he did, what was said in the private telephone conversation between Downing Street and Tehran, how did Iran get such a PR coup out of it (which they did), and how come the British administration come over as - frankly - so wet?

One of the observations on the BBC is that Ahmadinejad has seen our feeble response to this, and will be encouraged in his pursuit of nuclear weaponry.

Political - surely? And therefore within the scope of a political blog such as yours?

Nosey.

P.S. You have probably realised that my grasp of politics is slightly worse than my grasp of swahili, so I may be talking out of my arse hat here.

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Nosey,

Of course it's political, it's just that it bores the bollocks off me, that's all, and hence I've got nothing to say about it. My blog is not aiming to provide a systematic commentary service any more than it is aiming to provide a systematic news service. There are particular issues I'm interested in and they are reflected on the blog - eg the Labour leadership battle, English nationalism, the interplay between Christianity and politics, the constitutional reform agenda and so on.

My readers are by and large people who are also interested in those sorts of things. For me to start covering international politics when I've no particular expertise in it and it's not the reason people visit my blog anyway would be a bit like a specialist fish restaurant sticking steak on the menu to try and compete with a new Beefeater that's opened down the road.

Cheers,

Paul

PS I am now thinking of putting this entire email thread on the blog to make the point to all the others who keep asking me such questions.

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Paul,

Fair point. (And it made me laugh!)

Nosey

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2 comments:

Richard Bailey said...

Paul,

You forgot to mention cricket!
By the way, Guido has gone and trumped you on the holiday snap front. Funny how you both feature tits!

james higham said...

Sort of followed this exchange.