As part of an exclusive online feature, every week Total Politics interviews a key figure in the British blogosphere. This week we talk to Hopi Sen about his views on the blogosphere, his love of waffling and Blair’s legacy.
When did you get into blogging?
I started blogging anonymously. I worked for the Labour Party. I did a blog called ‘British Spin’, which had a very small readership. Then I had to stop because people in the Labour Party started reading it.
What is the purpose of your blog?
It’s become much more of a rallying point for Labour supporters than I expected, whereas most of my commentators appear to be anti-Labour. I think it’s turned into a soft intellectual, left wing, kind of respectable politics and what it ends up doing is a combination of that and me waffling on about the Shopping Channel.
Which posts get the most reaction?
Quite depressingly, the more controversial it is, and the more provocative it is, you get the most readers and most comments and most links. You occasionally think, ‘If I was a bit more rude and obnoxious and arrogant to people, I’d probably get a few more readers.’
Do you think the blogosphere is too bitchy?
The political blogosphere seems to have turned into people putting on personalities and being people who they aren’t really. A few of the left and right wing bloggers seem to be ratcheting up the ‘look at me’ political posturing. There’s a few people who are very good at that, like Guido Fawkes, and there are lots of other people who aren’t quite so good at it and it comes across as fake and a bit childish
Who is your favourite politician currently?
In terms of style, Rhodri Morgan.
Giles Wilkes — free thinking economist
Least favourite blogger?
Favourite political story of the past year?
The briefing of stories about coups that never would, or could, happen.
In the film of your life, who would play you?
If you could change one thing about British politics what would it be?
I’d abolish party conferences because what they have turned into is not a party conference, but a media platform.