Welcome to my blog

Hello, I’m René and I’m the staff reporter of Tribune magazine, a political weekly based in London. This – apart from one false start a few weeks ago – is my first proper blog. Strange for a twenty-four-year-old journalist, but true. Let me explain briefly what this blog is, and isn’t, for.

Just as Tribune is closely associated with, but independent of, the Labour Party, so this blog relies on, but is independent of, my work at Tribune.  All the views are my own, etc etc. But this blog won’t be about views, but facts. I’m not going to try to imitate the polemical style of blogging of, say, Guido Fawkes. Firstly, it would just be a pale imitation (unlike Guido, I have no affiliation, official or unofficial, to any political party), and secondly I’ve got something to do which will hopefully be a nice change from that blogging style. I will try to provide some insight into some of the week’s political stories with what little inside information I can muster. Scoops are unlikely to happen, but you never know. Think of this blog as being like Nick Robinson’s, but without all the knowledge and skill. I am a trained journalist, mind, which will hopefully make things bearable. Other subjects may creep in if they can be linked somehow to the main political issues.

I will also try and set the record straight when a media outlet gets something wrong  – something I haven’t been too bad at in the past. And I’ll try to be as readable as possible. On we go.

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7 Responses to “Welcome to my blog”

  1. Guido Fawkes Says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere.

    I see your blog is going to be about “facts” and is subtitled “How To Succeed In Politics and Journalism”.

    You say “unlike Guido, I have no affiliation, official or unofficial, to any political party”. In the preceding sentence you say the journal you write for is “closely associated” with the Labour Party. Contradicting yourself in the same paragraph.

    Err, what party is it to which I’m supposed to be “affiliated”? Nobody told me.

  2. lastreporter Says:

    Hi Guido,

    Thank you for the welcome. You are very observant to notice this little blog, even if you did follow the link.

    Okay, let’s see. First, the subtitle. It’s meant to be tongue in cheek – the post you’ve just read emphasises that I am no expert.

    Your ‘party affiliation’. We’re not going to agree on this, but I submit that someone who’s undertaken work on behalf of a political party, or a politician therein, has an official or unofficial affiliation to that party. If you don’t like the word ‘affiliation’, replace it with ‘association’, or whatever. No doubt some people do this work without being too attached.

    My Labour link. Tribune is inextricable from the Labour Party. I on the other hand have no link to it. I am not a party member and have no plans to become one. Without revealing my voting preferences over time, I am not a Labour loyalist in the ballot box. And I have never wanted to work for any party politician or activist. I work for Tribune because I wish to be a journalist, nothing more – a point I made clear when I was interviewed.

    Indeed, my lack of Labour affiliation has got me into trouble in the past because of my Tribune job. Perhaps I’ll blog about that at some point.

    This is a contentious point, and I’m not going to give you the answer you want. It is not, sometihng I intend to establish as a fact. So rest assured that I will not be trying to convince anyone that it’s a fact you support the Conservative Party. It’s what I believe right now. In time, I may change my mind. But not yet.

    Finally, I’m not trying to say that my blog is about facts whereas yours is about opinions. That would be silly. What it means is that I won’t be commenting at length and in polemical fashion on the issues I try to discuss. Will my opinions creep in? Of course they will. But in the background.

    I can see this will be interesting…

  3. Guido Fawkes Says:

    I’m a member of the Progressive Democrats, the last party I was a member of before that was the SDP. I don’t support the Tories. I do despise the Labour Party – that is not the same thing.

    “It’s what I believe right now.” So it is your opinion, not a fact.

    Not the best start.

  4. lastreporter Says:

    Okay, you win. You don’t support the Tories. I can’t instruct you in which party you support. Obviously I should have paid a little more information to what people – including yourself – write about you, and realised you’ve moved on since your Tory-supporting days. And yes, it is an opinion; I never pretended otherwise.

    Since you support the Progressive Democrats though, my point stands.

  5. Oli Says:

    Guido: “Err, what party is it to which I’m supposed to be “affiliated”? Nobody told me.”

    Guido: “I’m a member of the Progressive Democrats”

    Ouch!

    The PDs are, of course, “plus thatcherite que la Thatcher”, as the French might say. (Yes, they do call her “The Thatcher”). And given the drubbing they got in the last Dáil elections, they’re about as relevant a political force as the Iron One.

  6. Barry Lauterwasser Says:

    I submit there are no facts in the World, only opinions. Give that deep thought for some time. There was a fact once that the Earth was flat. It was accepted as fact by those that gave the opinion that it was…now we know otherwise, or do we?

    My point in example…give it thought though, don’t dismiss too easily.

  7. lastreporter Says:

    Nope, don’t agree.

    I’d be pretty feeble-minded if I hadn’t pondered this amply before you came along and warned me. I am already satisfied that there are both facts and opinions, even if facts exist only insofar as we perceive them. I don’t mind. I’m happy that we can tell them apart; and not merely, to use the pathetic defence of anti-pornography campaigners, that we will recognise them when we see them, but that we can establish principles for doing so.

    On with the facts.

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