Monday, 27 July 2009

My Top Ten Blogs of 2009

Took me a wee while thinking about this, but here is my selection for the Total Politics Best Blogs of 2009 poll. I don't think I'm breaking any rules by letting you know who I voted for - I think its an open and transparent way of voting. Plus, its not like I'm telling you who to vote for - just letting you know which ones I'd voted for - an opinion if you will (which is, in essence, what blogging is all about).

I've based my list on a couple of criteria: the frequency with which I check the blogs, the quality of the posting, the writing style and the reaction they evoke in me.

Apologies in advance to those that I have not included in my ten but the problem with a top 10 is just that: there are only ten spots available. Though there might have been only nine had I opted out of the honorable and chosen to vote for myself. At the end of the day though, for me that's just not cricket.

In reverse order then:

#10 Planet Politics
Stuart tells it as he sees it, doesn't really pull any punches, and has a way with words (see this post for a catchy title).

#9 Stephen's Linlithgow Journal
As much as I enjoy taking the wind out this particular Lib Dem's sails, the man's dedication to blogging/ tweeting is immense. Liberal and amusing with it - which is not always the case with these liberal types!

#8 Tory Bear
Right-wing political gossip, right enough. And good on TV. And in person too.

#7 Scottish Unionist
I know, I know. I mean, I don't really like the subject matter, or the fact that he is broadcasting it quite so loudly. But Scottish Unionist does a great job of exposing the dark side of politics and, when he's commenting and not just selectively quoting, the writing is pretty good. See for yourself.

#6 Iain Dale's Diary
The Blogfather. It's something he does so well that it is difficult not to pick him in my 10. There's something good on it 6 days out of 7. Or something like that.

#5 Caron's Musings
From politics to Formula 1 to trash tv, rounding up some good blog posts... oh yeah, and supporting my marathon effort, Caron's blog has everything you'll ever need to know about anything. Just a shame she's a Lib Dem really... ;)

#4 Yapping Yousuf
I've been really impressed with the progress Yousuf's blog has made in the last year. Yes, it is punctuated with the occasional partisan rant but Yousuf has really made Labour blogging in Scotland his own. Credit where its due - its not an easy job, especially at the moment, and the guy does well. Wee bit less partisan and he might have been a spot or two higher...

#3 J. Arthur MacNumpty
Credit to Will for having the patience to do what no one else can be bothered with and actually reading the official report. Every week. His weekly reports on votes are a good way of taking stock of how the week has gone at Holyrood and those posts are regularly punctuated with well thought out and provocative comments on the big political issues of the day. It really is an excellent read - I'd love to see him blog more frequently but I understand his problem on that score (I'm really not one to talk at the moment!).

#2 Two Doctors
James brings his own inimitable style to the blogosphere with a Green-liberal-left take on Scottish politics (and politics further afield). It's a cracking read and one which shows a maturity of thought not always associated with green politics. But then the Greens are not now the radicals they once were. Anyway, a cracking read and worthy of a high placing in this years listing.

#1 SNP Tactical Voting
There can be only one. No, not Tom Harris. I said when I voted for him last year that "
The sheer volume of posts (and the quality) make Jeff's SNP Tactical Voting blog essential dailly reading. Some thoughtful posts on wider society, Scotland and local politics make it an interesting mix." That hasn't changed at all. Apart from maybe pushing the SNP line a little more than he used to. Still my top Scottish blog.

So there we are. Those are my selections. Leanings: 2 Nats, 2 Tory, 2 Lib Dems, 1 Green, 1 Labour, 1 Anti-Nat and 1 Anti-Politics. I think I read a fair selection of blogs!

Honorable mentions to other blogs I read fairly frequently including Subrosa (who has apparently opted out of the voting) Holyrood Patter, Doctor Vee, Ideas of Civilisation (who appears to be on sabbatical), Lallands Peat Worrier, Kezia Dugdale (who took a brief break) and, of course, Scottish Tory Boy (who has just returned from his hiatus). All cracking reads too.

Again, these are my selections and I'm not telling you to vote for these or any other blogs. I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on the blogosphere and the quality within.


Anonymous,  27 July 2009 at 11:36  

Thanks. Can I selectively quote you on that? ;-)

Caron 27 July 2009 at 14:30  

Thank you - that's probably the nicest thing anyone's ever said about me in public:-)

I still haven't done my top ten - I can't get the order right and I actually need more than ten places.

Yousuf Hamid 27 July 2009 at 14:33  

you're very kind and I'm sure will be making a few top 10's yourself.

Also if Will only wrote his boundary blogs and nothing else all year he'd make my top 5!

Stephen Glenn 27 July 2009 at 19:43  

Thanks for the vote Malc.

Although is putting the excellent Caron above me putting the wind up me to incorporate some trashy TV in my blogging for next year?

Stuart Winton 28 July 2009 at 08:40  

Thanks for the vote, Malc; it's reasurring to know that I'll at least get one vote!

But are you sure you haven't got your list upside down??

Seriously though, the cheque's in the post.

Well, almost, because I was meaning to make a modest donation to your marathon quest once my, ahem, cash flow problems are sorted - I blame the bank!

Anyway, probably just as well I haven't managed that yet or it might have precipitated a 'cash for votes' scandal!!

James 28 July 2009 at 12:35  

You inspired me to post something more radical!

Anonymous,  28 July 2009 at 12:45  

He inspired me to construct a post almost entirely out of selected quotes — just to push the envelope! ;-)

Malc 29 July 2009 at 19:06  

Can I just say to the fake Scottish Unionist... f*** off and don't comment here any more.

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