What You Can Get Away With » Site announcements

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.

Going through my recap of old posts, I’ve recently found the one where I announced that I’d joined Twitter. Almost four years on from that, I now have an additional Twitter account – @CllrNickBarlow – that I’ll use solely for ‘official’ stuff. It’ll mainly be about things I’m doing as a councillor, information about meetings and events and will hopefully work as a point of contact for people who want to contact me about Council business, rather than getting that and everything else confused.

Don’t worry, my main account will still be continuing as normal, though the two will have separate content.

Quiet

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been working on some long posts that will start to appear next week and also reading and thinking about Drew Westen’s The Political Brain which will hopefully serve as the springboard for series of posts in the near future. Stay tuned!

Everyone else is doing it, so why not me? These are the ten posts from 2012 on the blog that got the most individual hits during the last twelve months.

10) Tour de France 2012: Ring my bell – I wrote a daily post about this year’s Tour de France, following Bradley Wiggin’s pursuit of the yellow jersey. For some reason, this was the most popular of them.
9) When is a Lib Dem not a Lib Dem? – An account of a twitter spat with non-Lib Dem Mark Littlewood.
8) You are free to do as we tell you – This one’s still rising up the charts. From Saturday, my reaction to the party’s attempts at a ‘message script’ for campaigners.
7) UKIP may well be beyond satire – Where Nigel Farage appears to believe that ‘modern and serious’ means ‘Christine and Neil Hamilton’.
6) Is there gender bias on Have I Got News For You? – This post, and it’s follow-ups, have been persistently popular, and the work in collecting the figures is one of the things I’m most proud of this year.
5) Boris is wrong. Again. – Boris gets his basic facts on how much power the Shard uses wrongs, and then uses false data as an argument for fracking. For this, he gets paid £250,000 a year by the Telegraph.
4) 2012 Colchester local election results – Pro Tip: Get lots of hits for your blog by putting up local election results as soon as possible. Lots of people will be searching for them.
3) It’s all in the game – On the disconnect between the people and the political class.
2) Monty Python fans block women directors – After the Church of England General Synod blocked women bishops, this piece of satire leapt into my mind.
1) It’s time to end the Coalition – Unsurprisingly, this got a lot of attention. Can’t imagine why.

So, mostly politics, with a bit of TV and a tiny bit of cycling sneaking in at the end. Not a bad summary of my year, really.

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There’s still about 1% of it to go, but now’s the time for writing reviews of the year gone by, however I will not be doing so. (If you really feel the need for one, I suggest you read Love and Garbage‘s).

Sadly, it’s not because I’m saving you entirely from it, but because I don’t want to repeat myself. In about a month’s time, this blog turns ten years old, and so I’m planning to do a series of posts looking back over those ten years, of which this year will be just a part. And now I’ve said that in public, it likely commits me to actually doing it – just like all those other posts that I’ve promised are coming that have yet to appear.

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Christmas

The joy of automation allows me to post this while I’m asleep. As with previous years, I’ve donated to Shelter instead of sending Christmas cards out, but I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a good time now and into 2013.

And now for the traditional picture of Colchester as it’s not looking right now. If tradition holds like last year, then this will hopefully conjure up weather so nice on Christmas Day it’ll be decent weather to go for a bike ride.

xmas2013

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Elsewhere

As I’ve written enough about Eric Pickles here this week, I decided my next piece about him should go somewhere else, so you can find it on Liberal Democrat Voice.

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