Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Last Post

Today saw the dissolution of Holyrood prior to May's Scottish Parliamentary Elections. It also, for other reasons, seems like an opportune time to draw the curtains similarly on my blogging efforts here at 'Scots and Independent'.

My reasons for doing so are many and varied, but one stands out in particular - I'm about to make the transition from unpaid keyboard basher to full time journalist with one of the local titles up here in Aberdeenshire. While blogging, alongside my commitments as a columnist with the Scots Independent newspaper has undoubtedly helped me to hone a writing style, I'm no longer sure that blogging will be quite so attractive after a day spent writing professionally to meet deadlines!

I'm sad about it in a way, but it's also a necessary step. While blogging as a candidate was a pastime fraught with difficulty, leaving you just one ill-advised posting away from tabloid notoriety, it was still something which I enjoyed immensely. It was also relatively easy and often great fun to blog from the position of being a parliamentary researcher at the heart of Holyrood and Westminster. However, continuing with the partisanship you can exhibit when the mood takes you in the blogosphere would sit uneasily with the need to cover news stories impartially and to be prepared to discomfit all sides equally when the occasion demands it.

It's been an interesting ride since I started out in 2006 - a period which has allowed me to chronicle the lead-up to the election of the first SNP government and its first four years in office. Blogging has also put me in contact with some great people over that time, as well as opening up some fantastic writing opportunities elsewhere, whether for books, e-books, magazines, other websites such as WalesHome or even on one occasion, The Guardian.

Blogging is and remains in my view a great medium and certainly from my perspective, the past four and a half years has been made all the more enjoyable because of the audience and the interaction which came along the way. Nevertheless, all good things must come to an end, and I must say that in this case at least, it's happening in circumstances which I can genuinely say I'm happy about.

It would be a wrench to leave the Scottish blogging community behind entirely, and I fully expect that the occasional grumpy retort will still appear next to my name in the comments sections of Scotland's better blogs. However, as far as my own substantive efforts are concerned, the fat lady has, for the moment at least, sung her last.

Thank you one and all, and at the risk of being accused of emulating Wendy Alexander in any way, have a fun election - whichever party you intend to take up cudgels for!



Cruachan said...

Good luck to you Richard

Lallands Peat Worrier said...

Always sorry to see a good blog close, but the very best of good luck go with you in all your future mischiefs, Richard. Will be sure to keep an eye out for your opinings in the Scots Independent.

Caron said...

I agree with LPW - I enjoyed reading your blog and I particularly enjoyed the very civilised discussions we had in the wake of the last Holyrood election.

Good luck with your adventures in print journalism and for whatever else you do in the future.

Doug Daniel said...

Always a shame when one of the blogs on my RSS feed shuts down - I had hoped it would be at least a month or so after the election before more started shutting down. Good luck with your journalistic endeavours, Richard. Just out of interest, which title is it?

Ken Campbell said...

Sorry to see you go Richard, however the blogosphere has such a hold over us politics geeks that I'm sure you'll be back soon!

subrosa said...

Congratulations on your new job Richard. I look forward to reading your articles.

voiceofourown said...

Good luck Richard and thanks - I've enjoyed your blog immensely over the past few years. Such a shame that another top notch indie blog has 'bit the dust.'

Richard Thomson said...

Thank you all for your kind words.
Doug - I'll be taking up a post with the Ellon Times.

Adam Higgitt said...


Sad to see the end of S&I, but delighted to hear of your move to professional journalism.

Best of luck for the future.


Anonymous said...

Best wishes with your new job & many thanks for a great blog, it's certainly been great reading.

Bill said...

I'm almost 'ashamed' to realise that I somehow missed your final blog entry, although I had wondered occasionally, even quite recently, what had happened to you. However, I did come across it today indirectly as a result of a search item leading to my own little blog, now very infrequently updated, but still not 'closed' as such.

Although I do not agree with your political stance on independence/separation as expressed in this blog over the years, it is absolutely the case that you are one of the most level-headed and rational supporters of the SNP cause - our disagreements never became overly heated and always kept to the issue at hand.

As it is now nearly two years since your blog closed, I have no idea of whether you still look in from time to time, but in case you do I hope that your new journalistic career is going well and that your life generally is proceeding upon lines that are congenial to you.

Kind regards
Bill Cameron