On the other hand, maybe the blog stuff is all right, because Aaro has quite a few of his own stock in trade, the slippery, half-attached fact. The proposition that "whipping and discipline is more severe than ever" is not refuted by the fact that "there have been more rebellions by MPs over the last five years than at any time in parliamentary history". A moment's thought out to be enough to realise that it is possible for party discipline to be both severe and ineffective, and a further moment to recall that Hazel Blears was Chief Whip for quite a bit of the last five years would probably suggest that this is a fertile line of inquiry.
Pedantry watch: "Conventional wisdom" is not just a handy way of saying "stuff that everyone thinks without checking". It is a phrase brought into the language by JK Galbraith. In context (chapter 2 of "The Affluent Society"), conventional wisdom specifically means the set of beliefs that one has to profess in order to be considered respectable ("the ideas that are esteemed at any time for their acceptability"). It is a concept that is tied up with the question of who has the power in society (an alternative definition would be that the conventional wisdom is those propositions which depend for their acceptance on their convenience to rich men). The orthodoxies of marginal people, conspiracy theorists and so on might be just as limiting and fallacious as the pronouncements of Tony Blair, but they can't be conventional wisdom. Nor can a popular sentiment about being angry about parking meters really be considered "conventional wisdom", although the idea that state involvement in the second homes market is inconceivable (which ends up being Aaro's punchline) certainly is a paradigm example of conventional wisdom.
This matters, because the discussion of the distinction between scepticism and cynicism is a set up really, for the classic Aaro tactic (which may end up being his central contribution to Decentism) of defending the actual policy of the government of the day, while pretending to be an embattled minority. For truly, the true sceptic is the man who can be sceptical of scepticism itself, and believe what he's told. This point of view might have been in Socrates or one of the other Greeks, but I doubt it got much play then either.
And so bouquets to Aaro's fellow in "grown up liberalism", Mr Martin Kettle. I notice that Aaro tries to pretend that Kettle was only threatening us that our constant bickering at Mr Tony might "give an advantage to the BNP"; presumably Kettle's actual conclusion (that we were paving the way for Pinochet "or worse") was too ridiculous to repeat, although it is rather dirty pool to mention the amount of abuse that Kettle got in the comments section without quoting the manner in which he provoked it.
sidebar: One little oddity, by the way, which I only mention because it brings a smile to my face. Aaro claims that the comments section at the Guardian blog accused Martin Kettle of "angling for a peerage". They didn't (I just checked, and all the mentions of peerages, Lordships, etc are in the context of the Labour Party allegedly selling them). I only mention this, because there is only one occasion on that blog in which a columnist was accused of angling for a peerage. The columnist was Michael White, the accuser was me, and I think it is pretty clear from context that I was joking (White had accused Lord Steyn of angling for a column and I thought a bit of tu quoque was in order). However my gosh did it strike a nerve. Quite a few others at the Guardian have been falling over themselves to say that they're not chasing a peerage either and now Aaro too. Protest too much? I think I will circulate a Pledgebank pledge ("I pledge not to sell out and accept a peerage, but only if the following list of my journalistic rivals do too").
Here's a challenge for you - find something bad written in the British press about Hilary Benn. You won't. Why not? Because he's done a very good job as International Development Secretary and has been in general an honest and principled politician. Milliband and Alan Johnson (the minister, not the editor of Democratiya, etc) have also done a reasonably competent administrative job and got a good press as a result. Aaro, Kettle, John Lloyd etc are talking about a generalised cycnicism about politics, when what we're actually seeing is the normal correlation between doing a bad job and getting a bollocking.
PS: I fear for Aaro's productivity, given that he reads his blog occasionally and I am about to tell him that the online multiplayer versions of his favourite wargames are much more fun than playing against the computer. Is anyone interested in getting together a team to challenge the Decents to a few rounds of "Full Spectrum Warrior"?