Here's a round up of new(ish) blogs I've been made aware of recently.
First up is The Grey Matter. They say "The Grey Matter is an independent newsletter about politics in Tyne and Wear, based in Newcastle. It is not affiliated to any political party and it is run entirely by volunteers. We want to expand our operation and are constantly looking for more people the help out. If you have a story, want to contribute, think you could help in any way, or have a suggestion don’t hesitate to contact: email@example.com". Sounds alright, but there's nothing much doing on the blog since mid-December.
Scottish Socialist Youth have got in on the blogging act with an irreverent and unserious (in a good way) makeover to their website. It leads with Harry Trotter's magical adventures leading Santa's elves out on strike, and dubs Rage Against the Machine's successful bid for the Christmas number one "the greatest victory for the working class ever". I for one entirely agree.
A welcome addition to progressive blogging comes in the shape of FWD/Forward, a blog for disabled feminists. They write, " It is a place to discuss disability issues and the intersection between feminism and disability rights activism. The content here ranges from basic information which is designed to introduce people who are new to disability issues or feminism to some core concepts, to more advanced topics, with the goal of promoting discussion, conversation, fellowship, and education."
A couple of blogs now for comrades who like their labour movement history. First there is Socialist History News, which carries pieces from the Socialist History Society's newsletter, advertises lectures, etc. The London Socialist Historians Group blog offers similar fare for London-based lefties and is more active than the national site.
I've occasionally moaned about the allergic reaction some on the far left have toward blogging, so I'm pleased to see comrades from my own organisation have entered the fray in a sort-of-official capacity. Coventry Socialist Party has recently launched a Councillors' Blog. There's not a great deal on there at the moment (a motion Dave Nellist and Rob Windsor brought to council supporting the Vestas workers, a report on a public meeting, a think piece on social housing) but I hope it will become more active and give an insight into what it means to be a socialist councillor.
One of the most curious groups on the far left are our friends in the Socialist Party of Great Britain. In one sense they are the most fundamentalist of all the organisations that claim Marxist inspiration as they are committed to arguing for socialism and nothing but. They alone have the strange position of disavowing any links between workers' struggles in the here and now, the confidence the labour movement has in its collective power and the movement for socialism. Instead abstract propaganda on why socialism is nice and capitalism nasty is the order of the day. Which leads to another curiosity - the existence of a relatively large number of SPGB bloggers, despite offering very little variation on this theme. Perhaps new SPGB blog Free Times 3x will be a departure and offer something more? We shall see. You can follow Free Times 3x on Twitter here.
From the fringes to the centre left, next blog Tory Stories is the brainchild of Jon Cruddas MP and Chuka Umunna, Labour PPC for Streatham. The blog is another addition to Labour's "evidence-based" armoury in the run up to the general election. They write "the site acts as a depository for evidenced articles on Conservatives in local and regional government, showing that, once in office, the party’s actions consistently fail to match its rhetoric. We urge readers to contribute to keeping this as up-to-date as possible by sending in further Tory Stories from across the country."
Sticking with Labour-loyal blogging, Attleeite Lefty is Rosie, a "left-wing-lefty student, amateur blogger, Twitter addict, avid cook, socialist, burlesque enthusiast and generic person who happens to write on politics occasionally." You can follow Rosie on Twitter here.
Time for what is perhaps the newest blog on the block. ajit8 appears to promise a mix of Maoism/Guevarism and anarchism (going by the site aesthetic), and kicks off with a repost of an article by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In the about section, ajit8 writes "Because there is no compromise. Because compromise is a Kop-out. Be true, be real and don’t be tainted." You can follow him on Twitter here.
And that's it as far as new blogs go. If you know of any recent start ups that haven't been covered previously (past posts on new blogs are here) then please let me know.
Just a couple of further announcements. Because I've promised him for ages and have kept forgetting, here's a plug for centre-left Labour blogger Hadleigh Roberts (you can also follow Hadleigh on Twitter here.
Second, in my recent post on socialist blogging I expressed scepticism that centre left bloggers would plug those from Marxist/Trotskyist backgrounds. Replying, Will Straw of Left Foot Forward writes:
You issue something of a challenge by saying "Apart from Liberal Conspiracy, I doubt Labour List, Left Foot Forward and the like would be willing to give those to their left outside Labour a leg up."Can't say fairer than that really.
We're already working with Green party and Lib Dem contributers plus a number of trade unionists, NGOs, campaign groups, and think tanks. We'd be happy to extend this "leg up" to you guys (although judging by your traffic stats it may be the other way around).
So here's a challenge to you: write for Left Foot Forward on new ideas that are not yet getting mainstream coverage, critiquing conservative policies and statements, and challenging the right wing media bias.
In turn, we'll increase our link love (an error of omission rather than anything else thus far).
If you're up for it, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The same offer applies to any other bloggers reading this.
Right, that's the last time I'll be blogging about blogging for quite a while, I promise!