The AVPS 'establishment' blog roll is a pretty representative cross section of mainstream blogging (i.e. Brownite Labour, Tories, LibDems and assorted madcap splinters), so this is a good place to start.
The new Labour List super blog, which has 54 (count 'em!) contributors has only now been able to muster a post on the strikes, and what thin gruel it is. Keith Vaz has this to say:
Traditional trade union values support the right to work of all workers equally. We should take great care when we try and create a right to work that is dependant on whether or not you have a British passport. Seeking to create opportunities to work that are based on the concept of citizenship that excludes those who are EU citizens or have indefinite right to remain in the UK is dangerous and wrong. It is an unnecessary political gift to the far right.And that's it! Less a blog and more a press release, don't you think? Poor old Keith can't even bring himself to mention the 's' word - strike. We shouldn't be too surprised. It's been many a year since he uttered the other 's' word too.
What about other mainstream Labour bloggers? Recess Monkey? No. Luke Akehurst? No. Labour of Love? No. Hopi Sen? Nope. Sadie's Tavern? Not a sausage. At least Harry's Place mentions the strikes, albeit only as a (useful) expose of a BNP front group professing to support the workers.
What passes for comment and analysis barely improves on Vaz's piece. Mars Hill thinks the strike has an unpleasant atmosphere, and is not justified anyway. John Gray as a trade unionist has something a bit more substantial to say but doesn't even address the idea of supporting the strike. It's simply left up in the air. Kevin Maguire is much worse, putting all his hopes in Ed Miliband to sort it out(!) Lastly, blogging Labour MP, Tom Harris has a bit of fun ribbing the Tories because it raises the spectre of EU-related divisions. But once more, nothing on the strikes themselves - but any old foil will do to attack the Tories, eh?
The LibDems, well, what do they think? It's pretty difficult finding a LibDem blog that's been updated in the last few days - presumably they're all busy in the LibDem HQ basement churning out their celebrated 'we're winning here' and 'it's a two-horse race!' leaflets. Well I'm not complaining if there's less twaddle to wade through. First is LibDem superstar blogger, Alix Mortimer who suggests hiring British workers is in no real sense different from preferring to buy local. In fact, she says there's a business case for doing so. Wow, what an inspiring political message. Meanwhile, over at Liberal England, Jon Calder takes a trip to planet contradiction. Clearly he has sympathies for the workers' grievances (which is more than what the above Labour bloggers have managed), who he sees as globalisation's losers. And yet, he's convinced there's benefits for them too. As smart Compassite blogger Tom Miller notes in the comment box, "Well done. You have passed the initial module in 'becoming a socialist'. Next week we'll examine 'what can be done to solve these problems'."
Given the flag-waving and BJ4BW slogans, and the alleged support of the right-wing press, is it not reasonable to expect the Tories and their semi-detached "libertarian" ilk to be all over this story? Anyone looking for guidance from the Big Boys will find themselves titillated with snow puns, stat porn, unfunny cartoons and Twitter tweets. Such hubris will be their downfall, I tell you. But anyway, at least some Tories have had a stab. John Redwood supplies the analytical style he's known for, but prefers to use it as a means of showing off his anti-EU hobbyhorse. Yawn! Thoughtful Tory blog, Letters from a Tory worries about the political fall out of the strikes. New blog, Events Dear Boy, Events has been running wild with the strikes - but only as a means of popping Mandelson's pompous balloon. It falls to the "opinionated arrogance" of Dizzy Thinks to come to the rescue. He brings some clarity to the issue: "I certainly could never support secondary action ... those taking secondary action should be fired in my view, and the law on this matter should certainly be enforced. It is illegal to strike in sympathy at other strikers elsewhere, and quite right too." He goes on to blame welfare dependency and the "lazy Brit" addiction to it, and his solution would be cutting welfare even further. Well, at least we know where "Dizzy" stands, even if his outpourings owe more to opinionated ignorance than anything else.
I suppose when this typifies the sum total of mainstream blogging wisdom, you can understand why lefts prefer to debate among themselves.
In the mean time, the Socialist Party website will be running regular updates from Lindsey oil refinery.