Apologies if you were looking for politics

Did Iain Dale tell you he has a new book out? What? He did? Oh.

Anyway, seemingly on his blog he is publishing some of the lists that are appearing in the book and today the top twenty Scottish blogs, as decided by Grant Thoms of Tartan Hero fame, have been posted. I am guessing — since the book is about political blogging and Iain Dale’s is a political blog — that it is a list of Scottish political blogs. This blog appears at number 2 in the list.

This raises the thorny old issue — is this a political blog? I grappled with this on the back of the election earlier this year.

Like I said in that post, back when I was a seventeen year old (when I was still in blog nappies and regularly vomiting in the sidebar), I used to aspire to be a political blogger. Over the years I became more and more apathetic about party politics (although usually not the issues in general) and I gradually toned down the political posts until this blog ended up being the eclectic rag-bag it is today. Nowadays I only really blog about politics if I get really wound up.

Anyway, it’s not every day you get linked to from one of the country’s most popular political blogs. Perhaps not the best selection of posts to have on the front page. So many people will have arrived to see the post about Blur (which I only did because I couldn’t be bothered writing a proper post!), some F1 posts and “ooh, look at me on the radio”. Politics is nowhere to be seen really.

Still, I am of course grateful that Grant Thoms saw fit to put me in second place, even if I’m not sure if it’s deserved or if I’m even eligible. But the thing about lists is that nobody ever agrees with another person’s list. It is bad enough choosing just number one, but to choose one to twenty and rank them… well, nobody is going to be very happy with the result. You can see that in the comments at Iain Dale’s.

Many — including The Devil’s Kitchen — are quite rightly asking where Mr Eugenides is. Personally, I am not sure why Rolled-Up Trousers is number one. I think it’s a good blog, but number one? Not so sure.

I would have placed J. Arthur MacNumpty and Holyrood Chronicles (not Hollywood Chronicles as Iain Dale wrote, no matter what the politicians might like to think!) higher, although I probably should not say what I would put lower as that is not very polite. But like I say. Lists? Fun to make, but infuriating to read.

Kerron Cross suggested in Iain Dale’s comments that Ridiculous Politics should have made the top twenty. Ridiculous Politics is the most aptly named blog out there. Once, when I was considering posts to go into the roundup, I got so angry at it that I wrote a long rant about why Ridiculous Politics is ridiculous. Needless to say, it wouldn’t have made my top twenty.

Update: Just realised also — where is SNP Tactical Voting?


  1. Thoughtful of you to refer to my absence, but Grant Thoms is entirely at liberty to select whatever blogs he likes. Choosing 20 from a choice of hundreds can’t be easy; I’m sure there are plenty of people nursing bruised egos, and that’s part of the fun and controversy of such lists.

    I believe Iain’s ‘master list’ was compiled directly from votes emailed to him and posted in comments at his blog. Maybe I can do better in that one. [sigh…]

  2. Eeekk! I knew this was going to be difficult. I very subjectively decided to leave Mr Euginedes out of the Top 20 Scottish for fear of ‘pigeon-holing’ one of the truly Top 5 British political bloggers which I’m sure the book is going to do more justice for him.

    I did try to use some sort of objectivity in that I rated according to frequency of posting, mainly political comments (and bearing in mind that the May election determined a lot of the political blogging) and I was looking for bloggers who had been blogging for most of the year. Not scientific I know but a bit of fun and bloody difficult to do.

    I know I’m going to spend the next apologising to bruised egos but hopefully someone else can right any wrongs… Good Luck 😉

  3. From bruising my ego to massaging it… you’ll make a fine politician, Grant.

    I’ve had a sneak preview of the top 5, but I can tell you (even if I hadn’t) that I am *not* on it, not by a trillion miles. There won’t be too many surprises in the upper echelons of the list, I shouldn’t think.

  4. Thanks for the note of my absence.

    But Grant has picked a fine list of 20 there, not an easy task I’m sure and I am happy to cut my teeth in the qualifying stages for another year yet. My Partick Thistle status is completely at odds with the omission of the Barcelona that is Mr Eugenides, though I do see Grant’s thought process on that one, even if being “punished” for being so damn good on the international stage isn’t a choice I’d have made.

    It did get me thinking though, I believe the average blog-reader (much like Pythogoras back in the day) love their angles. Knowing in advance approximately what viewpoint the Kezia Dugdale’s, Scottish ToryBoy’s and Tartan Hero’s will have is a comfortable expectation to hold. My thoughts tend to erraticly blow in the wind perhaps.

    Only the truly mighty bloggers, the Vee, Eugenides and Hollywood (of Chronicles fame) can get away with zero-angles blogging and still pull in the numbers.

    So it’s all good, but bring on 2008 when I’m sure mid-table Scottish-Blogging obscurity beckons. I was born to be a Motherwell!

  5. Hi Duncan – just reading your post your posts on what makes a “political blog”. Have to say I haven’t read your site much, but now I am I’m enjoying it – even though I’m sure we wouldn’t agree on much.

    I think you rather hit the nail on the head. A lot of the time what makes the “political” blogs accessible and enjoyable is that they don’t just discuss politics. Iain Dale blog for example does give you a bit of an insight into his life – and passion for things like West Ham. (Why anyone would want to admit to that I have no idea!)

    So the fact your blog has some politics and a lot of other stuff I quite like.

    I read your critique of why you don’t like Ridiculous Politics – but the reason you hate it is probably the reason I love it. It just takes the rise out politics and politicians. Having said that, I think you are right in your observation that it is anti-SNP, anti-Lib Dem, anti-Tory and doesn’t blog much about Labour – but that is because it is written by a Labour supporter who is critique-ing the other parties.

    Personally I hate pious blogs that opine about there own parties policy and how wonderful their party is.

    I think you’d have to say that my blog would be similar to Ridiculous Politics in that respect. I just like ripping into everyone and laughing at the ridiculous of it all. But then at least I do it to my own party too.

    If you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you do?