They say that the past is another country, but it is remarkable the changes that have taken place in the five years that this blog has been running.
Five years ago, Tony Blair was on his “farewell” tour, Jack McConnell (remember him?) was still favourite to retain his position as Scotland’s First Minister and the political establishment were backing the Royal Bank of Scotland in their bid to take over the Dutch bank ABN Amro. And five years ago last Thursday this blog appeared.
At the point that “Dispatches…” appeared, there was already a fledgling “MacBlogosphere”. I think Subrosa was there, maybe SNP Tactical Voting was months old and there was also Tartan Hero, I'm sure there were others but those three are the ones that stick in the mind, probably because they were the first three blogs I discovered.
The Strange thing is that the first political blog appeared at the end of February, with a piece on New Labour casting around for a "Stop Gordon" candidate to... er... stop Gordon Brown from succeding Tony Blair.
Two stories have been rumbling along, and have refused to bugger off in this time. The first is the controversy surrounding Trump-town. Only last week, Trump was flapping his wallies once again, this time at a proposal to build wind turbines just off the coast from where Trump's carbuncle is being built.
The Second Story which is still with us is the unraveling of the global economy, which first featured on these pages with this piece of whimsy about Super Squirrel. The next piece on the economy focused in on what is now re-branded as the Autumn statement, but was labled the Pre-Budget Report so not to scare the horses - which didn't work as it scared the horses. As a result Brown's reputation took a battering, with the nadir being the Friday just after the Euro-elections when many of the council results were announced. He did make it to the General Election and took part in three "leaders debates". However a Rochdale granny was in the end the diference between Brown and Cameron, as the Tories wound up the largest party short by 19 seats formed a coalition and began an ill judged assault on public services which is constantly refered to on these pages as George's scorched earth policy.
As I said at the top, in January 2007 Jack McConnell was still favourite to retain his position as First Minister. In a close election, Alex Salmond came out on top and set about trying to stay in post untill the next election by trying to create informal alliances to get votes in parliament. While the I word was conspicuous by its absence during the SNP's first term in office, it has been all over the Scottish media since the SNP won their second term. While the SNP can now bring a plebicite (legal matters depending), the discussions have been lead by anyone but the SNP. Certainly the Economy will continue to be an issue, but it has now been joined by the forthcoming plebicite as a long term issue as the for and against arguments begin to rage.
5 years down, one wonders what the next five years will bring.