Keeping the Faith
There seems to be an enormous ammount of excitement amongst Labour bloggers (and the Guardian diary) about Keeping the Faith -http://www.keepingthefaith.org.uk/ - an online petition set up in the middle of the chaos last week for people to pledge their support for Blair to choose the timing of his departure, and initially hijacked by spammers.
I've never met the site's owner David Taylor though it sounds like we share similar politics.
Various blogs have laid in to him for such thought crimes as:
- not liking Clare Short
- hosting an anonymous website (how unlike X million other bloggers)
- supporting the current Labour Prime Minister (what an appalling thing for a Labour Party member to do!)
- not being IT literate enough to protect his site from spam
I think he did a good - and in the circumstances politically brave (as it wasn't clear what way things were going) - thing.
It was one of a number of initiatives that happened pretty spontaneously last week because there were a lot of people out there who wanted to stand up and be counted as Blair supporters when it mattered most. Most of us are probably guilty of naiivity for thinking we could influence wider events by just saying how we felt, but as Labour Party members we didn't want to sit back and be observers at a key time.
For those of us like me who have friends and allies in both Brown and Blair camps it was particularly important to be able to publicly say what we thought and not just take cover and try to do a Vicar of Bray act.
The IT snobbery of the blogging community - "ho, ho he couldn't stop spammers and we were able to find out who he was" was pretty depressing, as was the tendency (which with this post I'm now part of) to blog about other websites rather than the "real world" outside the blogosphere.
I plead guilty to aiding and abetting David Taylor by linking to his site and emailing many of my Labour friends with it - a large slice of whom have signed it.
I'd urge more people to sign up in defence of idealism and loyalty and transparency and against cynicism and keeping your head down: http://www.keepingthefaith.org.uk/petition.htm