My top 100 Lib Dem blogs

by Stephen Tall on August 4, 2007

Have you got any salt handy? Okay, take a pinch, take two – hell, get a wheelbarrow.

A few weeks ago, Iain Dale e-mailed me and a handful of other Lib Dem bloggers asking us to rate and rank the Lib Dem blogs in preparation for the 2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK, to be published by Harriaman House. After a bit of umming and ah-ing, I chose to do it, if only to avoid the repeat of the superb Millennium Elephant Diary trailing in 77th, as it did in 2006.

And, actually, I’m pretty damn glad I did it, as I discovered a number of terrific blogs, which, though I might have glanced at previously , had scarcely taken the time and trouble to read properly. Almost without exception I found it well worth the effort.

But I still want to enter a number of massive caveats for what follows.

First, any attempt to rank blogs is utterly doomed – taste is so subjective, and I have no doubt that, given I ranked the Lib Dem blogs over several days, my ratings were subtly different each time. Second caveat: there are miniscule differences between the blogs: my top-rated blog, Lib Dem Voice – of which I am commissioning editor – scored 85 (out of 100); the 50th placed blog scored only 20 fewer, at 65%. Unsurprisingly, a load of blogs tied, for which I make no apology.

Thirdly, I marked according to the 10 categories Iain gave me: design, frequency of posting, writing style, personality , humour, commentary, popularity, independence of thought, range of posts, and interaction with readers.

Some of my favourite blogs were ranked lower, overall, than I would have anticipated because they scored poorly according to one or two of these measures: for example, some of those bloggers whose posts are essential-reading (eg, Alex Wilcock, Iain Sharpe, Joe Otten) post sporadically. Tom Papworth’s blog, one of the best around, is currently unavailable. Others say what they want to say terrifically, but have poorly designed blogs, or don’t attract many comments. Et cetera, et cetera. (I ranked my own – it seemed equally silly to do so, or not to do so. On this ocasion, I followed my ego…)

As you’ll have gathered from this post’s undue length, I’m slightly trying to postpone the moment when I lay out my top 100 (though I realise you’ll already have scrolled down), precisely because I realise quite how imperfect it is, and quite how unfair I might have been. Whatever, I’ve already sent it to Iain Dale, so it seems only fair to post it here.

Genuinely, if you feel I’ve cocked-up dreadfully, over-looked your blog (or someone else’s), or been too harsh/favourable, please do let me know.

1. Lib Dem Voice http://www.libdemvoice.org
2. Quaequam Blog! James Graham http://www.theliberati.net/quaequamblog/
3. Liberal England Jonathan Calder http://liberalengland.blogspot.com/
4. Liberal Burblings Paul Walter http://paulwalter.blogspot.com/
=5. Peter Black AM http://peterblack.blogspot.com/
=5. Millennium Dome, Elephant http://millenniumelephant.blogspot.com/
=7. Norfolk Blogger Nich Starling http://norfolkblogger.blogspot.com/
=7. Jock Coats http://www.jockcoats.org.uk
9. A Liberal Goes A Long Way Stephen Tall http://oxfordliberal.blogspot.com/
10. Love and Liberty Alex Wilcock http://loveandliberty.blogspot.com/
=11. Hot, Ginger & Dynamite Paul Evans http://gingeranddynamite.blogspot.com/
=11. The Posh Sounding Northumbrian Rob Fenwick http://www.northumbrian.org.uk/
13. Jonathan Fryer http://jonathanfryer.wordpress.com/
14. Andy Mayer http://andymayer.blogspot.com/
=15. Ed Maxfield http://owersby.wordpress.com/
=15. Niles’s Blog Alex Foster http://www.alexfoster.me.uk/
=17. Jonathan Wallace http://jonathanwallace.blogspot.com/
=17. Liberal Legend II Toby Philpott http://www.liberallegend2.blogspot.com/
=17. Matt Davies http://mattdaviesharingey.blogspot.com/
=17. Liberal (Not so) Alone Tristan Mills http://www.eridu.org.uk/blog/
=17. Jonny Wright http://hugahoodie.blogspot.com/
=17. Cicero’s Songs James Oates http://cicerossongs.blogspot.com/
23. No Geek Is An Island Will Howells http://www.willhowells.org.uk/blog//
=24. Mike Barker http://www.cllrmikebarker.blogspot.com/
=24. Lynne Featherstone MP http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/blog.htm
=24. Duncan Borrowman http://duncanborrowman.blogspot.com/
=24. The Diary of Chris K. Chris Keating http://clickeral.blogspot.com/
=28. Liberal Bureaucracy Mark Valladares http://liberalbureaucracy.blogspot.com/
=28. All Along the Watchtower Stephen Morgan http://strmrgn.livejournal.com/
=28. Greengauge Stephen Gauge http://stevengauge.wordpress.com/
=28. Liberal Mafia Don Liberali http://liberalimafia.blogspot.com/
=28. David Nikel http://davidnikel.wordpress.com/
=28. Adrian Sanders MP http://blog.myspace.com/adriansandersmp
=34. Lindyloo’s Muze Linda Jack http://lindyloosmuze.blogspot.com/
=34. Jeremy Hargreaves http://www.jeremyhargreaves.org/blog/
=34. Republic of Hyde Park David Morton http://republicofhydepark.blogspot.com/
=34. Liberal Leslie Christopher Leslie http://www.liberalleslie.blog.co.uk/
=34. Agent Mancuso http://agentmancuso.wordpress.com/
=34. What You Can Get Away With Nick Barlow http://www.nickbarlow.com/blog/
=34. Mary Reid http://www.maryreid.org.uk/
=41. The Webb Log Steve Webb MP http://webbsteve.blogspot.com/
=41. Young British & Liberal http://youngbritishandliberal.wordpress.com/
=41. Whiskey Priest Gavin Whenman http://oberon2001.blogspot.com/
=41. Hunting for Witches Leo Watkins http://huntingforwitches.blogspot.com/
=41. Bernard Woolley http://www.cttlom.blogspot.com/
=41. Anders Hanson http://andershanson.wordpress.com/
=41. Forceful & Moderate http://forcefulandmoderate.blogspot.com/
=41. Stodge Salim Fadhley http://blog.stodge.org/
49. Hapless Band of Staff and Regulars Ryan Cullen http://blog.artesea.co.uk/
=50. Liberal Review Apollo Blog http://www.liberalreview.com/blogs/apollo
=50. Paula Keaveney http://www.paulakeaveney.blogspot.com/
=50. de moribus liberalibus David Rundle http://liberalibus.blogspot.com/
=53. A Radical Writes John Dixon http://aradicalwrites.blogspot.com/
=53. Process Guy Andy Strange http://processguy.blogspot.com/
=53. Long Despairing Young Something Gareth Aubrey http://auberius.blogspot.com/
=53. Disgruntled Radical David Grace http://disgruntledradical.blogspot.com/
=53. Brian Sloan http://sloanerf1.livejournal.com/
=58. Rick’s St Mary’s Diary Richard Baum http://richardbaum.blogspot.com/
=58. Letters from Letterman Carl Qulliam http://www.fromletterman.blogspot.com/
=58. Barcharters Anonymous http://barcharter.blogspot.com/
=58. Blunt & Disorderly http://paswonky.blogspot.com/
=62. The Yorkshire Guidon Stewart Arnold http://theyorkshireguidon.wordpress.com/
=62. Moonlight over Essex Chris Black http://essexmoonlight.blogspot.com/
=62. Colin Ross http://www.colin-ross.org.uk/
=62. Mindrobber Andrew Hinton http://mindrobber.blogspot.com/
=62. Caron Lindsay http://carons-musings.blogspot.com/
=62. And Then He Said Andy Darley http://www.andthenhesaid.com/blog/
=62. Sajjad Karim MEP http://sajjadkarimmep.blogspot.com/
=69. Mike Bell http://mikebell.wordpress.com/
=69. Eaten by Missionaries Iain Sharpe http://eatenbymissionaries.blogspot.com/
=69. Joe Otten http://joeotten.blogspot.com/
=69. On Liberty Online Joe Taylor http://onlibertyonline.blogspot.com/
=69. Free Think Centre Forum http://www.freethink.org/blog/
=69. Arwen Folkes http://arwenfolkes.blogspot.com/
=69. The 3 P’s Dave Radcliffe http://radders73.blogspot.com/
=69. Belsize Lib Dems http://www.belsizelibdems.org.uk/
=69. Simon Jeram http://blog.biscit.me.uk/
=69. Chris & Glynis Abbott http://www.chrisandglynisabbott.blogspot.com/
=79. A Liberal Dose Neil Fawcett http://liberalneil.blogspot.com/
=79. Ming Campbell MP Ming Campbell MP http://www.mingcampbell.org.uk/
=79. The Sandals are Off Steve Guy http://www.sguy.net/
=79. 5tracks Ryan Morrison http://www.5tracks.eu/

=79. Pink Dog http://pinkdogster.blogspot.com/
=79. Progressive Politics Barrie Wood http://leftleaningpolitics.blogspot.com/
=79. Combe Down Ward Roger Symonds http://www.combedown.blogspot.com/

=79. David Watts http://cllrdavidwatts.blogspot.com/
=79. My tale of me Chris Jenkinson http://mytaleofme.blogspot.com/
=88. Justine McGuinness http://justinemcguinness.blogspot.com/
=88. Jo Hayes http://johayes-wire.blogspot.com/
=88. Jo Christie-Smith http://www.jochristiesmith.blogspot.com/
=88. Graham Watson MEP http://www.grahamwatsonmep.org/pages/blog.html
=88. Ballots, Balls & Bikes Tony Ferguson http://ballotsballsandbikes.blogspot.com/
=88. Anything Caron Can Do Iain Dale http://anything-caron-can-do.blogspot.com/
=88. Weblog of a liberal George Beevor http://georgebeevor.typepad.co.uk/
=88. Richard Allan Richard Allan http://www.richardallan.org.uk/
=96. Politically Restricted Southwark Lib Dem Group http://politicallyrestricted.blogspot.com/
=96. Richard Stevens http://www.richardstevens.blogspot.com/
=96. PoliticalDom Dominic Tristram http://politicaldom.blogspot.com/
=99. Bart Ricketts Bart Ricketts http://www.bartricketts.co.uk/
=99. Liberal Action Austin Rathe http://liberalaction.typepad.com/liberal_action/

UPDATE: Paul Evans’ excellent Ginger & Dynamite blog got relegated owing to an Excel error on my part; he’s been restored top his rightful position, joint 11th. With sincere apologies to him (and to everyone below 11th who finds themselves relegated one place!).