First of all can I wish all the readers of this blog a very Happy New Year.
2011 saw 56 posts, not bad considering I was out of blogging action for about six weeks in February/March time due to a defective hard drive. Looking at the top ten posts, the last post before the enforced hiatus - Butterflies & Hurricanes - does not appear in the top ten yet may still be the most precient, considering it makes the much ignored point about what became the Arab Spring began as a protest about economic conditions.
So what are the top ten read posts. Jointly at ten are two contrasting posts about news eminating from down south. The big news of the Summer was the daily revelations from the investigations into newspapers hacking into people's phones - in particular the revelations eminating from (at that point) News International. Getting Rid Of The Phone Hacking Scandal looked at where the scandal came from and where it was going (at that point). Also at Ten is one of those posts that does what it says in the title, dealing with the AV referendum that took place at the same time as the Holyrood Elections - Why I'm Voting Yes To AV.
At nine was a piece on the first stirrings of the obsession that has gripped the media, the opposition at Holyrood and looks to have gripped certain members of the Coalition government at Westminster. Let's Talk About Independence looked at the hype about the referendum. 2011 was the year that the Independence story arrived, and promptly refused to bugger off in the face of much more relevant stories. Like for example the Super-incunction story, that was the media storm story prior to Hacker-gate. The red-top tabloid obsession with gossip at the expense of the real news stories being covered up was the subject to No Sex Please We're British, the Eighth best read story of 2011. At Seven, another of those self explanitery titles - Tale Of The Tape: Scottish Election 2011.
Bubling under the top five is a post entitled The Miliband Drift - where I looked at the percieved post election drift of Labour under Milliband the Younger, warning that Milliband needed to get a grip on the direction of his party if another election defeat is to be averted. Despite a "Hacker-gate" bounce, Milliband is still in that place.
Into the top 5, and at 5 was my post on the Paisley hustings during the Holyrood Election campaign - The Paisley Hustings - The Derek & Stuart Show - with the title namechecking both the dominant personalities in the debate and the representitives of Labour and the SNP. At Four was a post looking at claims (by the victorious Labour party) that the outcome of the Inverclyde By-Election represented The End Of The SNP Bandwagon.
Into the top three, and at three is the only post in the top ten about the Euro-zone. Resisting The Urge To Say I Told You So is a reposte to those people, like Mary-Ann Sieghart, Bill Cash and er... Jacob Rees Mogg who have been attempting to re-write history to show that the Euro-sceptic "Bastards" that de-railed John Major's government were not little Englanders. Ohhhh no - they were visionaries you know. Aye right!
At two is the post with possiably the worst title of the year. Make More Noise was about the shockingly awful piece of election literature that bore Labour's name on it. When I posted this, I called Labour's 2011 campaign "unfocused (at best) and shrill... which has had nothing to say". In the post mortem of Labour's crusshing defeat, no mention has been made of the awful campaign which like an empty vessle had nothing to say.
In a strange way this segueway's into the number one post of the year. Just What is Labour Hame's Problem? is the most recient of the ten, and was one that highlighted why Labour still remain very much second favourites for Holyrood 2016. As I said in the post, I had hoped that the blog Labour Hame would be the "Scottish" Labour equivilant to The Orange Book - the book of essays that outlined the current direction of the Lib Dems (which was edited by David Laws and had chapters by Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg - all unknown at the time of publication in 2006). Instead we have silly attack piece upon silly attack piece about the SNP government, with no explanation of what a future Labour administration at Holyrood would do. Sadly, Labour's policy vacum looks like it will continue into 2012.
That's that for 2011. Blogging proper will probably resume next week, then there will be the fifth anniversary of this blog... untill then enjoy the rest of the holiday period.