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
2. Quaequam Blog! James Graham
3. Liberal England Jonathan Calder
4. Liberal Burblings Paul Walter
=5. Peter Black AM
=5. Millennium Dome, Elephant
=7. Norfolk Blogger Nich Starling
=7. Jock Coats
9. A Liberal Goes A Long Way Stephen Tall
10. Love and Liberty Alex Wilcock
=11. Hot, Ginger & Dynamite Paul Evans
=11. The Posh Sounding Northumbrian Rob Fenwick
13. Jonathan Fryer
14. Andy Mayer
=15. Ed Maxfield
=15. Niles’s Blog Alex Foster
=17. Jonathan Wallace
=17. Liberal Legend II Toby Philpott
=17. Matt Davies
=17. Liberal (Not so) Alone Tristan Mills
=17. Jonny Wright
=17. Cicero’s Songs James Oates
23. No Geek Is An Island Will Howells
=24. Mike Barker
=24. Lynne Featherstone MP
=24. Duncan Borrowman
=24. The Diary of Chris K. Chris Keating
=28. Liberal Bureaucracy Mark Valladares
=28. All Along the Watchtower Stephen Morgan
=28. Greengauge Stephen Gauge
=28. Liberal Mafia Don Liberali
=28. David Nikel
=28. Adrian Sanders MP
=34. Lindyloo’s Muze Linda Jack
=34. Jeremy Hargreaves
=34. Republic of Hyde Park David Morton
=34. Liberal Leslie Christopher Leslie
=34. Agent Mancuso
=34. What You Can Get Away With Nick Barlow
=34. Mary Reid
=41. The Webb Log Steve Webb MP
=41. Young British & Liberal
=41. Whiskey Priest Gavin Whenman
=41. Hunting for Witches Leo Watkins
=41. Bernard Woolley
=41. Anders Hanson
=41. Forceful & Moderate
=41. Stodge Salim Fadhley
49. Hapless Band of Staff and Regulars Ryan Cullen
=50. Liberal Review Apollo Blog
=50. Paula Keaveney
=50. de moribus liberalibus David Rundle
=53. A Radical Writes John Dixon
=53. Process Guy Andy Strange
=53. Long Despairing Young Something Gareth Aubrey
=53. Disgruntled Radical David Grace
=53. Brian Sloan
=58. Rick’s St Mary’s Diary Richard Baum
=58. Letters from Letterman Carl Qulliam
=58. Barcharters Anonymous
=58. Blunt & Disorderly
=62. The Yorkshire Guidon Stewart Arnold
=62. Moonlight over Essex Chris Black
=62. Colin Ross
=62. Mindrobber Andrew Hinton
=62. Caron Lindsay
=62. And Then He Said Andy Darley
=62. Sajjad Karim MEP
=69. Mike Bell
=69. Eaten by Missionaries Iain Sharpe
=69. Joe Otten
=69. On Liberty Online Joe Taylor
=69. Free Think Centre Forum
=69. Arwen Folkes
=69. The 3 P’s Dave Radcliffe
=69. Belsize Lib Dems
=69. Simon Jeram
=69. Chris & Glynis Abbott
=79. A Liberal Dose Neil Fawcett
=79. Ming Campbell MP Ming Campbell MP
=79. The Sandals are Off Steve Guy
=79. 5tracks Ryan Morrison

=79. Pink Dog
=79. Progressive Politics Barrie Wood
=79. Combe Down Ward Roger Symonds

=79. David Watts
=79. My tale of me Chris Jenkinson
=88. Justine McGuinness
=88. Jo Hayes
=88. Jo Christie-Smith
=88. Graham Watson MEP
=88. Ballots, Balls & Bikes Tony Ferguson
=88. Anything Caron Can Do Iain Dale
=88. Weblog of a liberal George Beevor
=88. Richard Allan Richard Allan
=96. Politically Restricted Southwark Lib Dem Group
=96. Richard Stevens
=96. PoliticalDom Dominic Tristram
=99. Bart Ricketts Bart Ricketts
=99. Liberal Action Austin Rathe

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!).