Being a political blogger really boils down to a question of mathematics — successful applicants must be three-fifths self-obsessed, one-fifth interested in current affairs (ie: choosing the newspapers with big words over the ones with amusing photographic subtitles), and one-fifth pompous enough to believe that their opinion on Therese Rein’s financial dealings is more important/readable than Michelle Grattan’s. There’s also the matter of Changing The World™. It ain’t going to happen through your blog. Get used to it.

I’m not sure anyone runs a political blog these days presuming that others will not only read it, but ‘fire up’ accordingly. I occasionally dabble in left-leaning potentially comedic internet diatribes, and realised rather rapidly that scouring The Age website for amusing bon mots from Paul ‘Zingers’ Keating was hardly going to win me friends/potential lovers, let alone cause enough of a ruckus to unseat JWH in the next election.

There are no real giddying heights involved in political blogging. You write something smart-arsey about Tony Abbott (or on a slow day dust off that tired photograph of John Howard appearing to perform a sex act on Peter Costello – hilarity ensues, etc) and open yourself up to eight thousand ideologically opposed computer dorks swinging by your page and telling you to go suck it. Those that agree with you presumably continue to do so as they are at heart an amenable and highbrow bunch. What, you think your carefully crafted photo essay featuring Amanda Vanstone ‘doing’ a Leggo stir-through pasta sauce commercial is going to make some rabid right-winger sit up rather abruptly and loudly denounce the Coalition for all their foibles? Get a grip.

Political blogs can entertain, provoke, amuse and stir, but for the most part they’re the ultimate definition of preaching to the choir. Occasionally some smarmy geek will be the first to break a piece of Canberra-based intrigue and spend the rest of the year crowing about how he totally owned Laurie Oakes, but if you’re expecting plaudits from the blogging punters I suggest turning your attention to sex and shoes. At the very least you’ll find an audience in Mia Freedman.

Ms Hardy’s blog is the hopefully titled reasonsyouwillhateme.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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