Note - This posting has been updated to take account of comments made.
I like blogging because unlike so many things in politics and life, I have the right to state my opinions openly and people can judge what I say by their own values and beliefs. Some might agree with me, some other might disagree, but in essence my views are as valid as any other blogger's opinion. Be the blogger Iain Dale or someone who started their blog only yesterday, it shouldn't matter. All our blogs should be of equal merit, even if clearly some blogs get more readers than others.
Now being a Lib Dem, I thought the party too would want to be seen as being even handed, fair and not too eager to bestow special title or honour on bloggers, but that appears not to be the case, well, not if you are in the London area.
There are a lucky few Lib Dem bloggers who get to meet some important people in the party. These bloggers, generally London based. Of course, it could be easily argued that Lib Dems based in London will always be able to attend these special meetings by nature of the geography of the country. But just who does get invited ? I have been contacted to and told the the offers are open to any Lib Dem blogger who wishes to go, but obviously there are difficulties for us more "provincial" bloggers.
Being based in Norwich makes it impossible for me to attend. But there is a danger for those who attend these meetings that they could be seen to lose their objectivity. They could be seen by readers to be following the party line or going easy on people because they want to speak to.
There is also a real danger that regional bloggers are seen as being outside the loop, not on message and therefore not worthy of special access to the top people. This is actually rather dangerous as it pushes the premise again that only London matters. As a party committed to devolving power, this seems at odds with the Lib Dems core beliefs.
If I were London based I would probably want to be able to attend, but equally, if I were not a blogger, why shouldn't I be able to attend such meetings ? Should bloggers be getting special treatment ? What about those regular commenters to blogs who don't have a blog of their own ?Should all party members start a blog so they can get an invite ?