Thursday, June 05, 2008

Some Blog Love

Having been tagged by Jeff in his recent ‘Top Blogs’ post (and since I’m now able to get my head through the door of the house again after receiving such a lofty accolade), it’s time to continue the chain. After all, break a chain-thingy like this and as any fule kno, not only will you lose your job, all your hair will fall out as well, with further misfortunes too gruesome to describe following in short order.

This is by no means a list of my favourite or most read blogs, since if you’re Scottish and into politics it’s probably a given that you already have people like Brian Taylor, Mr E and Guido on your blogroll. There’s also a fair bit of overlap between Jeff’s choices and what some of my own would be were I to conduct the same exercise, so I’m deliberately avoiding duplication. Finally, I’m leaving out favourite blogs either defunct, on hiatus or in the early stages of a transition, which sadly, at present excludes Scottish Patients, Reactionary Snobs and people exclaiming Whoopdedoo, wherever they may be.

With that understood, and in no particular order, here then are ten blogs which in my view, are examples of the genre which rise above the ordinary:

Calum Cashley (SNP)

I’ve know Calum for years, and his idiosyncratic sense of humour often as not chimes well with mine. Not only that, he’s a smart cookie, frequently digging out the nuggets of information which become tomorrows’ newsprint. Without doubt, the best connected SNP blogger in Holyrood.

Cllr Andrew Burns (Lab)

One of the good guys. An opponent of mine at the local elections in 1999 (I lost), he makes his points well, avoiding the ad hominem which plagues the blogs of many elected members. Hints of a life outside politics as well.

Tom Harris MP (Lab)

For my money, the best blog written by an elected politician in the UK, never mind Scotland. Pithy, personal and pleasingly indiscrete. I hope he’s keeping a diary…

Scottish Futures (Ind Nat)

Über-thoughtful blog, hosted by Scottish polymath Pat Kane. Home to articles from sundry McChatterers like Prof Chris Harvie, Gerry Hassan and Ian MacLaren. Never less than thought-provoking.

Normal Mouth (Lab)

Another Labour blogger, this time from west of Offa’s Dyke. Cerebral, not afraid to criticise their own side when they see fit, and takes an interest in Scottish politics to boot. Essential for anyone interested in Welsh politics, especially when read alongside….

Adam Price MP (Plaid Cymru)

Highly rated Member of Parliament for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. Bilingual posts - a bit serious but worth reading.

Burning Our Money

Frighteningly well informed commentary on matters Treasury related - clearly has far too much time on his/her hands. Number of default attitudes towards Scotland which inhibit objectivity from time to time, but don’t let that put you off.


If she’s not already on your blogroll, add her immediately.

Man About The House

Family, politics, life in general – the musings of a stay at home Dad.

Richard Havers

Former airline executive with a dislike of windfarms, now living the dream as a writer and guest house owner in the Lammermuir Hills. Seemingly exhaustive knowledge of post-war music and counts a Rolling Stone amongst his friends - would be on my fantasy pub-quiz team for those reasons alone.

And that’s my duty done. Except for a sneaky reference to two other sites I’m involved with which don’t really count as blogs, but which merit a mention for the contributions of others – Destination, set up by Julie Hepburn, and The Flag In The Wind, the online presence of the ‘Scots Independent’ newspaper. Here endeth the plugs :-)


Ricky Simpson said...

Blah ;) (sorry, couldn't help it)

Some good blogs there though. It is a very welcome thing that there is a good amount of political debate in our nation. I am of the opinion that blogging is steadily turning the tide of mass apathy.

Richard Thomson said...

:-) Yes, yes, very good. Hope you're right about the apathy bit. As long as bloggers keep it interesting and avoid believing their own hype, the fact the medium allows anyone to put their opinions out there for discussion and challenge can only be a good thing.

Clairwil said...

Thanks for the mention. I shall have to pull my socks up I thought no -one was looking any more!

Richard Havers said...

Richard, where's the quiz? :)

Does this mean I have to list ten?

Richard Thomson said...

I think you're doing fine, Clairwil. Good luck with the escape tunnel from work - been there and done that myself!

A Scottish bloggers pub quiz wouldn't be a bad idea - if you've time to organise it, Richard, then...

As for listing 10 blogs, I'm not going to influence you. However, someone who maintained the chain got a promotion at work the next day, won the lottery and married a supermodel. On the other hand, someone who broke the chain suffered a horrific and bloody death in a bizarre tiddlywinks accident the following week. Your call ;-)

Tom Harris MP said...

Thanks for the mention, Richard. Very generous of you. I owe you a pint in Strangers.

Normal Mouth said...

Thanks, Richard. Some characteristically generous words, alongside a few under-discovered bloggers for me to add to the feed list.

It's a fascinating, perhaps even defining, time to for Wales and Scotland. It is a conceit to imagine that much of what we have to say now will survive for future scrutiny (though yours may if and when you attain elected office). Rather it is just good enough just to be be able to kick things around here and now and to contribute, if only in a very minor way, to some wider debate.

And I agree about Tom Harris.


Mark McDonald said...

*sniff* I buy you a burger and this is how you repay me?!?

Overlooked again, although I guess my sporadic blogging and North East parochialism count against me.

Looks like I will have to start bucking up my ideas!

Richard Thomson said...

Mark - just get your house sold before you start spending too much time on the blog, so to speak :-)

And it was a very nice burger...

Alasdair said...

Hi, thanks for the mention Richard. If the only accolade a blogger gets is a recomendation from their peers then that's good enough for me ;)

Thanks again.