My top ten political blogs

Iain Dale’s doing his annual best blog competition, so here are my top ten political blogs which I’m sending in.

First there are the regular ‘must reads’:

1. Liberal Democrat Voice
2. Iain Dale
3. Guido Fawkes (Love Iain and Guido, or hate them, or love and hate them both – they are a pretty much essential read, frequently breaking stories that are then ones we all pay attention to.)
4. Liberal Conspiracy (The content isn’t as much of a ‘must read’ for me as the previous three, but Liberal Conspiracy has the best discussion in the comments. It’s the place where pieces from myself generate the most interesting discussion compared with the other sites where my words sometimes appear.)

(And yes – no Labour equivalent there. The Labour ‘home’ style sites aren’t quite there yet – at least for an outside like myself.)

And for the other six:

5. Labour MP Tom Harris (Frequently disagree with him – but a great blogging style and manages to be interesting and thought provoking despite also being a pretty much always on message Labour minister. Not an easy combination to pull off!)

6. James Graham’s Quaequam (A previous Liberal Democrat Voice ‘Blog of the Year’ winner and one of the best pugnacious bloggers around – showing how you can be very robust in your arguments without simply lapsing into empty insults.)

7. The Times’s Red Box (I feel it’s a bit of a cheat to include a blog that is really a newspaper online, but this is an excellent example of this genre at work.)

8. Dave Hill (Really came to prominence for many people during the London elections this year – and continues to shed light on what is happening in London government.)

9. Helen Duffett (Helen’s worked in my office helping with casework. I’ll let you judge whether that means her excellent blogging is because of or despite this link!)

10. And of course, the best blogging pink dog in the world, Pink Dog (Where else would I find out about spoon crime?)

You can cast your own votes too by sending your top ten to Modesty forbids me to include my own blog in my top ten, but don’t let that put you off voting for me!

0 thoughts on “My top ten political blogs

  1. Tom Harris on message? Much improved, certainly, after a period when there seemed to be very little political on there. But look at this by Tom:“19 Jun 2008 : Column 1068WStephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) locomotives, (b) multiple units, (c) freight wagons and (d) carriages were in use on the rail network in the most recent period for which figures are available, broken down by (i) train operating company and (ii) class. [211419]”The answer:”Mr. Tom Harris: This information is not held by the Department forTransport, but is widely available in the specialist press.”Some time before that answer, DfT has tasked someone on their staff with keeping the dept up to date on the allocation of vehicles, and then to assist in planning their deployment. So was that incomplete (and off message) answer Tom’s fault or did the dept boob yet again?

  2. “Love Iain and Guido, or hate them, or love and hate them both – they are a pretty much essential read, frequently breaking stories that are then ones we all pay attention to.”I know you know Iain, Lynne, and am wary of offending you, but I respectfully submit that this is a myth, and the more it’s propagated, the more the mainstream media will buy into Iain’s “granddaddy of the blogosphere” publicity, and the more we will remain insular and unattractive to those who, by dint of NOT linking to Iain Dale, get ignored by the “top table” and therefore the mainstream media.I don’t read Iain any more than I would read the Sun for political insight, and I don’t read Guido any more than I would read the Daily Mail.I’d also respectfully submit that James Graham is perfectly capable of empty personal insult, having been on the receiving end of an ad hominem from him before. He does some good 2000AD reviews, though.

  3. Daily Mail? Hate their editorial line. But read it regularly. Only reading those you agree with gives you a narrow mind. Better to be challenged in toughts all the time. If you are in politics, you also need to know what lots of other people are thinking too.

  4. Steve, I don’t only read those that I agree with, but I do tend to restrict my reading to those who can maintain a certain level of factual accuracy and civility. “Know thine enemy” is all well and good, but contributing money to the coffers of Paul Dacre and/or Rupert Murdoch would be a step too far for me, and even if you’re reading the online version that’s what you’re doing, because the advertisers pay more for a site which is looked at more.YMMV, of course. But to go back to blogging, if you want to find out what “the enemy” is saying, you’re far better off dipping your toe into the murky waters of the cornerstone group blog or similar than reading Iain or Guido, whose posts are always formulated to maximise self-publicity.

  5. Daily Mail does quite a lot of traditional investagitive journalism. David Abrahams and Labour dodgy donor story was broken by Mail by journalists getting out of London and going door to door to all big Labour donors to see if there was a story.How Daily Mail writes up stories is another matter. My tip is to ignore headline and read from end of story backwards. Usually buried towards the end is the other side of the story. It means there is enough there to work out a contrary view where appropriate (as it often is!).Thank you for tip re Cornerstone site.

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