Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The BOTYs - Best blog from a Liberal Democrat holding public office.

This award is all about the blogging efforts of our Parliamentarians and Councillors. It's often difficult to find the time amidst representing constituents, holding down a day job if you're a Councillor, doing the campaigning stuff that will get you re-elected and trying to find some hours to recharge your batteries.  Maintaining a blog on top of all of that can be a real challenge.

My first suggestion as a nominee for this award is Lynne Featherstone. As parliamentary candidate, constituency MP and now a Minister in the Home Office, she has kept going, using her blog not just as a platform to tell people things, but also to engage in a real and genuine dialogue with her readers. Whether she's writing about equality issues, local constituency news or asking her readers what they think about private money going into the Health Service, she shows that the power has not gone to her head and she's still the same person we've all admired all of these years.

Next up is the Hon Lady Mark, Parish Councillor for Creeting St Peter in Suffolk. His many talents include taking us through the sometimes dramatic process of being the Returning Officer for Liberal Youth, trying to encourage open and genuine debate about the Coalition and the future strategy of the party, and keeping us informed of Ros Scott's activities in the Lords. He is very wise and venerable and I always look forward to his Thoughts From the Train. And I didn't mention his beard at all........oh wait....

Cllr Fraser MacPherson in the last week alone has talked about homelessness, the new exam for 4th year secondary pupils, the selection of both candidates for the Dundee seats, and posted us a lovely Bee Gees video to get all nostalgic to.  His frequently updated blog is a must read for constituents and people interested in politics alike.

Cllr Paul Edie is actually eligible for this award and would be a worthy winner. I was desperate to nominate him for the new blogger award, except he started his blog 5 days too early to qualify, much to my annoyance yesterday. I find his blog extremely interesting because he's in charge of Housing and Social Care in Edinburgh which is as you can imagine no easy job. He's been very successful in the role and as well as writing about national issues, he ensures we're all aware of the achievements the Liberal Democrats have made in the City of Edinburgh Council.

Meral Hussein Ece is one of the newest Liberal Democrat peers and a fellow Muser. She hasn't blogged very often in the past year, but when she does, her humanitarian and knowledgable perspective on international affairs is always interesting and welcome. I'm looking forward to more observations on her new role from her.

And there's always the wry and erudite observations of Peter Black on such diverse subjects as amulets protected by angels (you can imagine what he did with that one), Welsh affairs and standing up for Councillors in the face of unnecessary and illiberal interventions from the Standards people.

So there you have it - a talented bunch of people, any one of whom would be a fitting winner. Watch this space for my suggestions for the remaining categories.

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