I was sad, but not surprised, to read Iain’s last blog post yesterday telling us that he was stopping blogging. Over recent months it was clear that his other commitments (publishing and now a show on LBC every weekday evening) were so time consuming that his four or five blog post per day diet was no longer possible.
Iain also said in his post that he was fed up with the viciousness and backbiting – presumably of comments – which populate political blogs.
And perhaps, most important of all, he said he was no longer enjoying blogging.
He is not alone in ceasing a long term blog – Tom Harris (a Labour MP) who had been blogging for years recently quit. Iain was saying on the radio this morning that he believes it damages political careers as parties regard bloggers as maverick. But Tom’s was an excellent blog and it is a great shame that he stopped. I have been blogging for around eight years too – and it is becoming difficult to find enough time and I can’t blog as much as I used to.
I have particularly enjoyed Iain’s blog for many years. He has always had that really special quality – his own voice in everything he writes. And even though his political allegiance has always been completely clear (Conservative – in case anyone doesn’t know) he has often been very critical of his own party – and sadly – almost always critical of mine. But The cross-party relationships that developed and exist in the blogging community transcend party differences and I think Iain has given a huge amount to politics.
I remember when he bravely went where no one had gone before – and started an intelligent political TV chanel – 18 Doughty Street. I was on the political panel on opening night – and it was a joy to have proper political discussion. Sadly – it didn’t survive. But Iain has moved on. I listen to LBC a great deal. There is no better forum for listening to what London thinks about an issue on a daily basis – and now Iain has his own program.
I wish him every success for the future.