You might say that. I couldn't possibly comment.

Many thanks to Justin Hinchcliffe, a Tory blogger I only occasionally agree with, but a blogger always worth reading because he has the almost unique position of being a Tory who is prepared to be critical of his own party, who has written an interesting piece in support of this blog, for which I thank him.

It seems that I am more popular with non Liberal Democrats than I am with Lib Dems, if nominations to the Lib Dem blogging awards are to be believed. According to the piece on Vox Politics on 18 Doughty Street last night, this blog came only 12th in the vote.

I guess I will have to wait and see whether I score higher in Iain Dale's own list, voted for by hundreds of bloggers of all party political affiliations and none.

In many ways, scoring higher in the other list (Iain Dale's) might be more of a success, although being liked and appreciated by your own colleagues is always appreciated, because I set this blog up to be something more than a Liberal Democrat mouthpiece. I wanted to praise politicians of any political colour when they do the right thing, I want to be critical of my own party when I feel they are heading in the wrong direction and I also hoped that people who are not Lib Dem would read my blog. In effect, I did not want to preach to the converted. Instead I wanted to be an active part of the conversion. If some Tories have read my blog and thought that there are some Lib Dems who are not obsessed with the "love in" over Europe, if there are some Labour voters who have read what I have written and agree that ID cards are bad and their own party is wrong on that issue, then I have succeeded in a way that makes any placing on a list of nominees for best blog seem very unimportant.

Of course, that's not to say I am not disappointed not to have made the shortlist, of course I am. But if doing so means that I need to be less critical less independent, then I'll happily miss out.

I ahve to say that some of the shortlisted five for best blog are are absolutely top class blogs that any party would be proud of and I wish all the shortlisted nominees a warm congratulations for their efforts and their success, which is hard earned and fully justified.


Will said...

Hi Nich. Despite Justin's rather absurd claims, I hope you don't think for a minute "the party" wants to silence you. (And Justin's criticisms would bear more weight if he'd actually nominated the blogs he says should have been on the list.) It's inevitable that in choosing only 5 out of over a hundred blogs for a shortlist we were going to have to miss out some excellent blogs. I know party loyalty wasn't one of the criteria in my mind when I chose my list and I'd say Jonathan and James in particular amongst the shortlisted blogs are happy to speak their minds when they disagree with the party.

It's not true, though, to say you came 12th. We drew up a shortlist of five and that's all we did - no rankings beyond that.

Best wishes,

Norfolk Blogger said...

I was emailed by someone who said they saw it and thought that was what was said.

I have tried to find it on 18DS, but they only have Tuesday nights' show in their archive to watch.

Jeremy Hargreaves said...

The suggestion from a Conservative (albeit one sometimes willing to speak his mind) that the main criterion for best Lib Dem bloggers should be how useful they are to the Conservative party, is an interesting one, but not one I think we should pursue...

I don't for a moment think that there is any skulduggery - the outcome is simply, and inevitably, four people's subjective view of good Lib Dem blogs.

All that is a prelude to saying that I too was very surprised not to see you on the best LD blog list. If I'd been asked to bet, I think I would have guessed that Norfolk Blogger would be the only name that I would be really confident would be among the five. A real surprise.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I think, given that it was a panel who decided who got on the list, that it actually does make me feel slightly suspicious.

Linda Jack said...

Unfortunately, due to my enforced absence in Blogosphere this all passed me by. But had I voted Nich I would certainly have voted for you, I really appreciate your blog. Like you I had anticipated top 5 meant.........top 5?! Hmmmmmm.......interesting.......sanitization in the Lib Dem Blogosphere? Surely not.

Paul Walter said...

JH is getting nominations and shortlisting mixed up. You were nominated for two awards at least - I nominated you.

Norfolk Blogger said...

However paul, it appeasr that being biminated is not the same as getting shortlisted, and it is uncertain that people who hae nominated, and might have received a lot of nominations, ever stoof a chance of being shortlisted.

I can have no argument with three or four of the nominees, but one of the chosen five would, by my standards, be regarded as a largely inactive blog.

Someone contacted me suggesting that it would not have been right for an anti Ming blog to have been nomitated for fear of the press coverage this would have attracted.

Anonymous said...

When did this become an anti Ming blog? Weren't you pro Ming the last time you wrote about him?

Chris K said...

I hope you're not offended by Justin's allegation that your blog is on a level with Suzanne Lamido, Nich!

That said, I was surprised not to see you on the shortlist and I have a strong suspicion you would have been 6th.

Mark Pack said...

Two quick things.

First - nominations and shortlisting are two different things.

Second - looking at some of those shortlisted, I'd hardly say they are party leadership patsies. Indeed, James Graham is not only fairly critical of the party fairly reasonably, he's also taken one of the judges severely to task.

There's bound to be a variation of views on what is the best blog. Personally, I can think of some people who love each of the shortlisted blogs, but also for each of them I can think of some people I know who really dislike them.

Just because someone's views are different from your own isn't the strongest of grounds for claiming conspiracy you know :-)

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

What a shower you lot are!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Anonymous, yes, I am more supportive of Ming now, but to some I am still seen as someone who rocks the boat.

Mark, I agree, I must be coming over as dreadfully petulent and childish. Actually, I think I would have cared less if I had not had so many people contact me to say they were very surprised.

Mark Pack said...

Oops, I meant to say James is critical of the party "fairly frequently" rather than "fairly reasonably"!