Monday, April 02, 2007

Bias and hypocrisy!

This is, as a close observation of its title might suggest, a broadly Conservative supporting blog. That's because I'm a broadly Conservative supporting person. It's also a blog that, so far at least, has been in favour of David Cameron as a Good Thing for the Tory party. If and when scandals or 'scandals' erupt that make the Lib Dems or Labour look bad, I do tend to report them/luxuriate in them/laugh at them. Looking back, however, I seem to be less inclined to dwell on Tory scandals. This may simply be because, in the year and a bit that I have been blogging, Tory scandals have been rather few and far between. I can remember the Patrick Mercer 'scandal' - which I did cover - but not many others. Conservative involvement in the cash for honours affair has seemed to me both elss blatant and less constitutionally significant than Labour involvement - and that's a view that's widely shared across the media too.
Is it then indicative of my inherent bias that I haven't, for example, rushed to criticise David Caermon's use of his House of Commons office to fund-raise? Maybe, but there is also the point that it's a very tedious 'scandal' indeed - certainly compared to the Lib Dems' issues with fund raising. On the wider point there is the fact that most of these 'political' blogs, from Guido to Tim to Iain, are either overtly party-political or carry a heavy personal slant. In this light it's not surprising that more weight is given to news that makes your opponents look bad or your friends look good.
The charge of bias is pretty much undeniable - for this blog at any rate. I am biased. I have a decidedly partisan set of opinions, and since I very rarely go in for fact reportage here those opinions colour what I write. Hypocrisy is a nastier charge, and one I think is harder to make stick. If I had written that the fact of Charles Kennedy's alcoholism made him unsuitable for office (which I more or less believe) it would be hypocritical to defend (say) Boris Johnson if that august figure added chronic alcohol abuse to his list of vices. But if I simply didn't write about Boris's excessive toping? Can you be hypocritical by omission? If I ignored Boris it would certainly be biased of me, it would probably be enough to reduce any reputation for analysis that went above the predictably partisan, but would it be hypocritical. I'm unconvinced.
On that last subject, I now find my eyes glazing uncontrollably when Ed Balls makes any public announcement. Given that this is the man supposed to provide a human face to the Brownite camp, why is he so desperately unconvincing as a human being? He speaks as though he's had a 1980s punch card fed into his brain. In the interests of balance I suppose I ought to criticise John Redwood, but Ed Balls actually makes Redwood look spontaneous. Almost.

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