'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

We're not normal, you know.

When I saw Nick Clegg speak to a packed audience the other week on a sunny Wednesday lunchtime, he made the excellent point that everyone in attendence was a little unusual, with a rather-more-than-average interest in politics - choosing to spend their lunch hour in a hot stuffy room talking policy rather than being out in the sunshine talking about almost anything else.

This has just home to me again when I glance at what are currently the most read stories on the Guardian Website. They are, on this day of more than averagely sized momentous events:

1. Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur: Five things we learned
2. Gadaffi's son Saif al-Islam is free
3. Libya: the battle for Tripoli - live updates
4. Smoking shisha: how bad is it for you?
5. Samir Nasri misses Aresenal's Udinese tie after Arsene Wenger climbdown

Now Libya is 2 of the top 5 - but it's not top, and it only scores as well as football.

No mention for other prominent stories such as the Coulson payments (have to say, much as it pains me, I think Peston may be on the wrong track there - let's hope not though, eh?),Eurozone meltdown,or Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The lesson here is I guess that when we're battling over things we care about - I'd say reform of the House of Lords was a prime example - the battle for attention is a tough one to win, as while this stuff may matter, it may not be what people want to engage with, listen to or learn from - and as I blogged yesterday, getting the facts out alone may not be enough to change people's opinions. You have to get their attention.

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