Totally new Total Politics

image Iain Dale has taken political blogging to a new dimension by launching Total Politics, an essential internet resource for political animals like myself.

Total Politics is Iain’s brainchild and is also available as a printed edition which Iain hopes “will do for politics what GQ has done for men’s fashion”. Is that image a reference to the snazzy ties Iain favours?

The website will contain most of the content of each issue of the magazine. It also aggregates all the political and journalists’ blogs and I was interested to see that Labour bloggers (267) are ahead of Conservatives (268) by 1. It also hosts a collection of Political Quotations and a Political Speeches Database.

I would like to see the website include more links to worldwide political blogs so it becomes a unique source of leading international political blogs too. I would also like to see Total Politics encourage younger readers, to focus regularly on their political views and aspirations. We do have a youth parliament and these young people will be our future decision makers.

Iain is asking for feedback on the site, so do check it out. The magazine is available now at WH Smith and includes an exclusive interview with Gordon Brown, as well as the Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby. These are quality interviews which the mag will have to sustain to keep its readers hooked.

James Robinson tells us that copies of Total Politics, backed by Tory benefactor Michael Ashcroft, will be sent to every elected official in the land – from MPs to local councillors – giving it a controlled circulation of 23,000. But they also need to prove its viability by sales at the cash till.

I hope there are enough political enthusiasts to support this venture. And, of course, there is the irony of Iain promoting the printed media at a time when he enthuses the power of blogging. I don’t have a problem with that as I am an avid fan of the printed media.

The question is whether enough Spectator and New Statesman readers will buy it as well as their favourite political read. And if readers can get the content free online, what is going to persuade them to subscribe to a printed version? Will there be enough advertisers to make it profitable during these times of economic gloom? I hope the magazine includes some gossip too, after all, what’s politics without a few fun, bitchy comments?

Good luck Iain, I look forward to buying a copy, and thanks for including my link in your Political Blog Directory. I admire Iain’s courage in launching new political media ventures, in trying to engage all political parties and the public in interaction.

*Worth a read, Matt Wardman’s more detailed review of Total Politics.


  1. “In 1997 the total maximum expenses claimable by an MP was £50,213. Yet during this prolonged period of low inflation (for which Gordon likes to claim credit) the maximum amount claimable has risen to £159,720.

    A rise of 218% in ten years”

    Is Iain Dale as innovative as Guido in his blogging ?

    I feel that the whole political establishment is up itself.

    Incidentally a guy has just driven his car through the front doors of our local council offices. I think there’s a news blackout but it’s the talk of the town.

    Politicians must start sorting their act out sharpish.

  2. Ellee: I have also cut down on the political blogs I read, not that I spend any less time on my computer, it’s still 16 hours a day. Rather, I have been pretty engrossed in the Madeleine McCann case, all the twists and turns. I even turned the attack blog from Iain Dale to the McCanns. And when the Three Aguidos forum went down I started a Justice For Madeleine forum. Now it’s back up I can spend more time on politics, and let the forum tick over.

    The problem with the McCann case is that now it has been shown in list form that between them they have lied 85 times, it is understandable why 92% of the people polled wish for them to face justice at least for child neglect.

    The problem with politics is that now Blair has gone Brown is no substitute, and it needs Balls or Milliband if Cameron is to be stopped. Not that I think Cameron has got what it takes. Veneer is so thin and brittle. I hated Thatcher, but she had what it takes. I wish it would get more interesting.

  3. Jailhouse Lawyer, I haven’t been following the the political blogs as closely as you recently, so thanks for the update. I’m rushed off my feet at the moment and, tempted as I am to check out the links for myself, I shall resist temptation because I know two hours later, I shall still be sitting in front of the screen when so many jobs need doing.
    And yes, you are right about the typo, I have the correct figures in front of me on a piece of paper from when I copied them down from Total Politics.

  4. Looks like an interesting new venture!

  5. Ellee: I’m almost totally innumerate myself but the Aspergers Syndrome means I can focus on mistakes. Following your link I could see it was your figures that did not add up. Minor typo.

    The newmania thing. I read his attack upon Iain in the comments on the Boris thread. And, he carried it over onto Bob Piper’s blog. I must say, it even surprised me. I am known for my attacks upon Iain Dale. And long ago dismissed newmania as one of his sockpuppets. Now he appears to have turned round and bitten the hand that feeds him, so to speak. As Bob Piper would say, rats in a sack!

    I have just been over to conservativehome and the thread on Total Politics Iain Dale gets slated in the comments with this publication. In short, a disaster waiting to happen. Naturally I am interested because of my interests in politics and the media. I will Mickey take because its heads above the parapet time. But, I will also take a serious look at things and later provide serious comment.

  6. Jailhouse Lawyer, well spotted, you are right about the figures, and I admit it is my weak area, though it is true about Labour being one ahead.

    Philipa, I know about Boris, but not Newmania, what happened there?

  7. P.S. It’s your figures that are the wrong way around.

    And, whilst Iain Dale has me down as non-aligned (which is how many on the left also see me) he has my blog in the wrong alphabetical order. That is, Prison Law Inside Out (which it is what it used to be called) whilst the thumbnail sketch clearly shows the blog is called Jailhouselawyer’s Blog. Not a good start to be behind the times is it?

  8. Shouldn’t that be Conservatives ahead of Labour by 1 at 268 to 267 on your figures?

    I looked at the site and couldn’t make head or tail of it. I am used to blogs whereby all you do is read what’s on the front page and if you want to read an earlier post you simply scroll down.

    However, I will have to get used to it because as soon as I heard Iain Dale intended calling it Total Politics I thought what total b*ll*cks and set up a blog in that name to extract the Michael out of the project.

    I don’t think there is room for another political magazine, and I suspect that this is doomed to failure for a few reasons. It may not be like the Titanic sinking on it’s maiden voyage, nevertheless I get the impression they are heading up sh1t creek without a paddle.

  9. It looks interesting and I will check it out.

  10. Philipa

    Can’t say I was impressed with Iain’s attack on either Boris or Newmania but as you say, worth a read, thanks for the link, Ellee.

  11. Thank you Ellee, I shall bookmark this link and pass the information on to another.

  12. It looks like a good new venture.

  13. Just been over there – it’s pretty good, isn’t it?

  14. Thanks for that link Ellee

  15. Iain probably has enough crazy ties to make them a special feature in an upcoming issue of Total Politics. Maybe a political fashion section could become a regular slot?

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