We need more Ronnies!

Serial blogger Ronny Patz has recently published a post in which he considers ‘why there is no serious blogging scene in Brussels’ in the way that there is in national capitals. His primary answer is that ‘there are no citizens in the Brussels bubble as there are citizens in capitals like Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna or London’. He concludes that ‘maybe we’ll have to wait for the first retired generation of social media savvy EU officials until we’ll see really good EU blogging.’ I wonder. I think Ronny is right to raise the question. I have often wondered why it is that, although it attracts so many lobbyists and (until austerity kicked in) journalists, ‘Brussels’ has failed to produce real equivalents of the likes of, for example, Guido Fawkes or Iain Dale or the more workmanlike Huffington Post – it’s not as though there isn’t a similar hive of gossip, rumour and counter-rumour here. And it was the same before the internet. Brussels-based versions of Private Eye, for example, seemed doomed always to fail and I don’t know whether anything modelled on Le Canard Enchainé was ever attempted but certainly nothing similar currently exists. Languages and cultures must also be an important factor, I would have thought, together with the non-transitive nature of most national public figures’ reputations. And then there is the sheer scale of EU affairs, given the interlinkage back to domestic politics and economics in twenty-seven member states. I am not sure about relying on retired social media savvy EU officials. What we need is more of the likes of Ronny Patz and Jon Worth!