Thursday, February 22, 2007


"It's not what you know..."

BooI've recently become aware that the Irish Blog Awards are on the horizon. I've not been very active with blogging in recent months due to a pretty hectic lifestyle (women, cars, holidays, you know yourself) and one of the effects of this is I'm not in the Irish blogosphere 'loop' as much as I used to be. Hell, I just checked some of the blogs on my blogroll and while some have moved, loads have passed on into bloody cyberspace. Time flies.

It has come to my attention though that this year, unlike last year, United Irelander has not been shortlisted as a contender for 2007's Best Political Blog. Sniff. I discovered it was however nominated in the original long list of contenders. Since it wasn't me who nominated the blog, thank you to the person/s who decided to throw my name forward. It is appreciated.

Admittedly it is a bit disappointing to not be acknowledged by other bloggers. I felt the stuff I was writing mid-'06 was some of the best stuff I've done to date. I was proud of the extensive coverage I gave to the Easter Rising and the debates here on the site, plus the fact I was able to secure interviews with several high-profile politicians such as Pat Rabbitte and David Norris.

I felt that was pretty impressive for a lone political blogger but I guess others didn't think so.

No matter. My main gripe with this year's shortlist is not the fact that I've been left out but that some really terrific political blogs, which I'm a big supporter of, were omitted. Frankly, some of the blogs shortlisted this year are hugely undeserving. One of them is a blog by Dominic Hannigan, a Labour party candidate in the next election. I've nothing against the man but what has this guy done to warrant being shortlisted?

We know Slugger's going to win it anyway but that doesn't mean any old political blog should be thrown in there. It reads more like a party blog than a political blog if you ask me. I'm not crazy about some of the other blogs shortlisted on that list either.

Personally I think blogs like Balrog, Big Ulsterman, The Green Ribbon and El Blogador were all far more worthy than most of the blogs on that shortlist. Shame how good blogs tend to get dismissed by the "intelligentsia" of the Irish blogging community.

Here's my prediction for what will be 2008's 'Best Political Blog' shortlist:

- Mary Harney's blog
- Slugger O'Toole
- Willowfield's Irish nationalist blog
- Twenty Major (he'll be in every other category)

In other words, decent political blogs who put in a lot of effort will continue to go unrecognised. Look at some of the other shortlists for the various categories here and you'll see some more questionable finalists.

The boys at Balrog for example, who unlike me didn't go on any sort of hiatus, have continued to post thought-provoking content even though their lives have been very busy. This sort of dedication is what should be rewarded, not 'Dear Diary' posts and Sinead Gleeson film reviews.

It's a damn shame but hardly surprising.


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