Ten years of blogging: 2007

Despite the best efforts of some French protesters, 2007 happened. This was the year in which I first got elected to Colchester Council, but plenty of other things happened during that year, even if I didn’t blog about them. This was the time when I wasn’t blogging very often, and when it was, it tended to be just short posts.

In January, Robert Anton Wilson – whose book Reality Is What You Can Get Away With helped give this blog its title – died. At least, it was widely reported that he’d died, and he hasn’t since appeared to say any of those reports were wrong.

Also in January, Manchester got a super-casino. (Which it then didn’t, as Gordon Brown cancelled it).

My skills of political prognostication proved themselves to be just the same as I failed to mention anything about Barack Obama, but did discuss rumours of Al Gore entering the US Presidential race.

In March 2007 came the sad news that Chris Lightfoot had died. If you’ve never heard of him, you’ve likely heard of many of the projects he created for MySociety – like Write To Them, They Work For You, PledgeBank and others – and seen the beneficial effects his work has had on this country’s public life. He’s still missed.

A majority of MPs voted for a fully elected House of Lords. That’s why we had the elections for the Lords last year… oh sorry, wait, that was in the sensible reality, not this one. The arguments I was frustrated with here haven’t disappeared in six years.

Two surprising announcements closed out March – I got a Facebook account, because back then they were uncommon enough you told people you had one, rather than telling them you didn’t. I also announced that I was a candidate in the elections for Colchester Borough Council. (And for a modern merger of the two, here’s my councillor Facebook Page)

Oddly, standing for election seemed to spark me into action writing about almost anything but the election itself. Though I did write about when a canvasser from another party knocked on my door. I particularly like the comments telling me I was going to be thrashed in the election.

Kurt Vonnegut died. So it goes.

It turns out that you’re not meant to say ‘please to meet you’ to the Queen. Lucky that Prince William’s relationship with Kate Middleton didn’t rekindle after that revelation, isn’t it?

In May, as the commenters predicted, I got thrashed in the local election. Providing that ‘thrashed’ means ‘actually won by 200 votes’.

People were voting in Scotland too – and getting less confused by the supposedly more confusing voting system. I also proposed an idea for how an English Parliament might work.

‘Son of the manse’ was a lazy journalistic cliche that supposedly explained Gordon Brown’s personality. None of them could explain why it didn’t also explain David Tennant’s, given their similar backgrounds.

Talking of former Prime Ministers, Tony Blair got to serve alongside Peter Mandelson again for a while in their offices of profit under the crown. Interesting, really, that with all my obsession with blogging about politics a few years before, I had so little to say about Blair moving on.

July’s blogging was all about the Tour de France, which started in London and then threatened to descend into farce amidst a huge number of disqualifications and drug scandals.

Another bad guess, as David Owen didn’t attempt a comeback. Or he did, and no one noticed or cared.

Meanwhile, I was getting old and complaining about young people’s music sounding rubbish. To be fair, I was talking about Babyshambles.

There still aren’t many people using the phrase “as good as the Star Wars prequels“, but it’s not quite as recursive as it was.

Iain Dale’s traditional accuracy about the Liberal Democrats saw me rise in the list of Lib Dem bloggers after a year of not much blogging. Whatever happened to Don Liberali, though?

One of the first Council-related things I blogged about was taking part in I’m A Councillor, Get Me Out Of Here! Despite my praise for it, I was voted out first.

There wasn’t an election in autumn 2007. I’m always very glad for that, because I’d have likely been the agent for the Liberal Democrats locally if there had been.

Perhaps for the last time in major news, I heard the news of Ming Campbell quitting by the old way of someone coming into a room and telling us it. And almost immediately after that, we had the Chris Huhne campaign up and running.

This may be the only time I ever agreed with Lord Hanningfield on anything.

This post showed me that even people who went to Oxford think the Oxford Union is irrelevant, while Tony Blair couldn’t understand why people might think of him as a nutter.

And the year rounded off with Jack Straw telling us that black was white.

My blogging frequency took a definite drop in 2007. From what I recall, things didn’t get much better in 2008.