» General ¦ What You Can Get Away With

Yesterday I discovered that I’d been nominated for Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year. It was a bit of a surprise – partly because I found out from the questions Lib Dem Voice – but an entirely welcome one.

Unfortunately, I can’t be in Glasgow for Conference this year, so I won’t be able to be at the awards ceremony which I’m sure will be as glittering as packed full of celebrities as it has been in previous years. I’d like to take this chance to thank everyone who nominated me, and encourage those of you who can and who haven’t done it yet to go and fill in the LDV survey. You can even vote for me if you like. (At this point, Leonard Cohen’s ‘First We Take Manhattan’, specifically ‘you loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win’ fades up on the soundtrack.)

Mark Pack has a list of all the previous nominees and winners, and it’s an impressive list with an important pedigree of people who’ve quite blogging and/or the party after winning the award. It also confirms what we’ve all suspected for many years – that Jonathan Calder is the Liberal Democrat Leonardo DiCaprio.

I hope you all enjoy the awards, and whoever wins it’s just good to know that someone is reading all this and appreciates it. Thank you, and please keep reading (unless I win and have to follow the tradition, of course).

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Having seen some other people do it, I was curious about what the most popular posts of the last few months (since I started blogging regularly again) were. Thanks to Google Analytics, I can find them out quite quickly, and it turns out that they are:

5) Presidential questions response: Daisy Cooper – The first response to my challenge to the Liberal Democrat Presidential candidates.
4) Something Must Be Done About Boris – When Boris proposed that we should get rid of pesky obstructions to justice like the presumption of innocence.
3) My Presidential manifesto – In which I promised to do nothing, but got a response from three of the four candidates.
2) Worth Reading extra: On #DRIP – A collection of links on the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act.

Which means my most popular post of the last few months is:

1) How did workism conquer the world? – A post that got quite a bit of attention and a lot of links, which probably indicates that I ought to write some more on the subject of workism.

Surprisingly, none of my series on Conrad Russell and liberalism made it into the top five, but several of them are bubbling just under there. There’s also been a general rise in the number of readers since July – who knew that regular posting generated regular readers? – and as those posts were back in July, they might not have got the same level of attention.

So there we have it – look out for a similar post in a few months time, if I’m bored on New Year’s Day with nothing else to do or write about.

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The missing

You may have recently seen a post here that’s now disappeared. That’s because I buggered up the scheduling for a post that isn’t meant to appear until after 10pm, so if you did see it pretend you haven’t until then.

I wrote last week about doing a new series of posts that tried to explain political science concepts in an accessible and understandable way. Thanks to all those here and on Twitter who said you’d be interested in that, and I had hoped to have a first post up by now. However, things have taken longer than I expected and trying to break down concepts into simple and understandable chunks isn’t as easy as I thought it might be, and the first post is currently meandering all over the place. One thing it is doing is giving me a lot of respect for lecturers and other academics, as trying to break things down into discrete chunks of information isn’t as easy as it might seem when there’s a huge mass of interlocked concepts to disentangle it from.

Which is my way of saying that it’ll likely be a week or two before anything appears, as I need to properly plan this (instead of my usual blogging method of winging it) and am off on holiday soon, but hopefully the time away will help me to sort the different ideas and concepts out in my head. I am still planning on doing it, but perhaps not as quickly as I first hoped.

I’ve made a few slight layout and editing changes to the blog, just to make it easier to access some of my old posts, particularly those I wrote as part of a series of posts. So, if you’re looking for my writing on any of these, you can now find links for them all on their own page to help guide you through the archive:

My 2006 walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End
The 2010 General Election
The 2012 Tour de France
Conrad Russell’s An Intelligent Person’s Guide To Liberalism

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I can’t remember if I mentioned it at the time, but I’ve had my first article appear in Liberator magazine this year. It’s called ‘The Failure of Localism’ and you can read it – along with the rest of the issue it’s in – here.

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Fellowship

I’ve had the official confirmation through, so I can now announce that I’m been accepted as a Fellow of the RSA.