One of the nicest things about blogging is being able to congratulate other bloggers on (what you believe to be) good blogging, so it’s unfortunate in a way when you are seen as part of a gang because, if you congratulate another supposed gang member, then doing so looks like cliquey back-slapping. Worse, if the objects of your admiration are famous, then name-dropping gets added to the charges. Regulars know I am, however, unforgiving of bad thinking about big issues, even when it comes from people I would otherwise agree with—even when I agree with their conclusions. As far as politics is concerned, this is easy for me because I have been arguing with stupid Lefties for decades. Mr Good Intentions and Mrs Intellectual Rigour aren’t going to be inviting Hello! magazine round any time soon to photograph “the beautiful home where they have lived for many happily married years”.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to link to Paulie at “Never Trust A Hippy” lately because he’s been throwing a lot of thoughts-in-progress out into his blog (as he admits is his style) to see what others have to say about them; but they haven’t been getting as much feedback as I reckon they deserve. Or maybe they are and he’s deleting it. Or maybe everyone else agrees with him. I don’t always, but I can’t think of a time when I feel I’ve wasted my time reading what he has to say. His being thoughtful is useful. Doing his day-job, Paulie talks to people who actually have some power and I’d rather they listened to him than rather-less-thoughtful people, like many professional lobbyists for example.

To give you some idea of how long I’ve been planning to point you his way, most of the following links are from May. I enjoyed reading his “case for a public service movment“, this one poking a stick into questions of data privacy, and this and this asking what value MPs attach to their current jobs.

More recently, other bloggers have been linking to Paulie because he wrote this, from which I excerpt the following [Paulie’s emphases]:

The ‘everyone agrees with me‘ fallacy is—I suspect—one of the biggest causes of disillusionment with government by the elected, and the perceived disconnection between politics and the general public. The recurring question is often ‘why can’t they do what we want them to do?‘ Sadly, the answer is that they often try to do exactly that—and they really shouldn’t be doing so in the first place.

While I’m at it, Tom Freeman makes a good point well here. Admittedly, Tories complaining about the social divide between neighbours in Westminster is something of an open goal for anyone with a memory that extends back further than fifteen minutes, but have you ever tried putting a penalty kick away?