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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Wednesday February 22 2006

imageA week or two ago, I spent an evening with my friend Antoine Clarke, and discussed with him the idea of me interviewing him, on a fairly regular basis, about elections around the world.  (I want to get into internet broadcasting, and I now reckon the way to do that is to have conversations with knowledgeable and interesting people about their specialist subjects.) Everything about the conversation we had that night confirmed for me that Antoine would be an ideal interviewee.  The man just knows so much about party politics, and about so many places.  As you can learn yourself, if you visit Antoine’s blog.

At the same time as I was asking Antoine if he would like to do a weekly (say, maybe fortnightly or monthly, or whatever) performance about electoral and party political doings around the globe, he was finding that this was how needed to organise his own blog writing.

Since that conversation, he has done two such round-up postings.  If the idea was for this to be less work, then I don’t see how that works.  But, they are very good.

Antoine has the potential to be as impressive an internet presence as Guido Fawkes already is, the difference being that whereas Guido’s stamping ground is British politics and all its nuances and scandals and rumours, Antoine is looking at the entire world.  However, unlike a lot of the American bloggers who already do this, Antoine has that same blessed quality that Guido also has, which is that the man just enjoys it all so much.  Antoine has always taken a gleeful pleasure in the strange twists and turns that party politics can involve.  For him, party politics is just fun. Americans, with their empire to run and to argue about, too often find themselves writing not about politics as practised in Costa Rica or Azerbaijan, or Australia or wherever, but about how well America (aka President Bush) is doing in Costa Rica, Azerbaijan, Australia or wherever, and being just too damn solemn and serious about it all.  In short, Antoine doesn’t just bring formidable knowledge to the blog party.  He also brings a particular and I would say, potentially, a very attractive attitude.  And it’s an attitude that would also make him an ideal broadcaster.

One of the great pleasures of the blogosphere is watching one’s blogging friends gradually homing in on their ideal way of using blogging to say exactly what they are best equipped to say and most inclined to say, because this is the kind of thing they have been saying for the last ten or fifteen years anyway.  I have lost count of the number of times I have heard Antoine talk, publicly or just in conversation, about the ironies and intricacies of French politics, which he is very well placed to do, on account of being bilingual in English and French.  (He’s not called Antoine for nothing.) And I vividly recall that he was one of the few of my acquaintances to predict not only the mere fact, but, very precisely, the scale of the first Tony Blair victory in Britain.

I hope this doesn’t jinx Antoine’s activities.  If for any reason he doesn’t sustain the plan of weekly global political round-ups, well, that’s fine.  This will merely mean that he is still at the stage of finding his blog voice.  But, I do get the feeling that he has found it.

As for my podcasting, or whatever it’s called, I am still fussing around about how to do it, talking to various people, arranging to borrow kit, etc.  I am always very slow at the early stages of these things.  I may well soon post a really bad sound file effort, just to find out how to do it.  But, I promise nothing.