Firstly, a happy new year to all of my readers.
2012 saw 36 posts, a decrease that probably reflects the sheer boredom with the Independence referendum… already. With 28 months till the next Westminster elections, speculation about what will happen there will probably begin to feature more on these pages.
So, what are the most read posts of 2012. At 10th place is “Some Thoughts About That Opening Ceremony”, a post about that… er… opening ceremony. As I mused towards the end, “maybe the most interesting thing to say was that it was probably a much better advert for the Union than anything “Better Together” will throw at us over the next two years” as the strictly non ennobled Danny Boyle cherry picked key shared British experienced and produced an opening ceremony only hardened Independence supporters and right wing Tory MP’s could possibly hate. In 9th place is the first appearances of two recurring themes, Independence & the collective failure of “Scottish” Labour. In this case “Worse Than Chloe Smith”was about Ian Davidson’s bad tempered, foulmouthed, rant on what he, rather wittily, calls Newsnat Scotland. Jack Whitehall was apparently unavailable.
At 8,another post about the failures of Labour in the Independence debate. Given the current climate for crystal-ball gazing over 2015, “The Week Labour Lost The Next Election” set out how Labour under Ed Milliband had severely hindered their chances of government at the next Westminster Elections. Meanwhile i got my own crystal ball out in October to call the Independence referendum for the seventh best read post of 2012 – “Why Scotland Will Vote No in 2014”. Bubbling under the top five is a post from March looking at the likely scenarios facing Scotland “After The Referendum”.
The fifth best read post of 2012 was a review of the Council elections that took place in May – with the feeling that the SNP would look back at “The What If Elections”. If anything, the SNP’s problems started here. In the aftermath, Jeff at Better Nation mused on whether now was the time for Alex Salmond to step asside for the Deputy First Minister to take the reigns and deliver a yes vote. At number four in this list is my response to that post – “A Potted History of the Anointed Ones” – making the point that the history of favoured successors to successful political leaders is not a happy one.
Into the top three, and at three was a post wondering if the (at the time) forthcoming Council elections would see the SNP’s “jump the shark moment”. Or, as the post put it “Is the SNP Backlash Coming?”. This post also flagged up the possibility of the SNP losing Renfrewshire, despite that council’s former leader running the national campaign. Hmmmm…
The highest placed post about the referendum is at number 2, and is about the last (at the moment) decent idea “Scottish” Labour have had. “The Foulkes Manouvre” is about George Foulkes idea/wheeze that there should be dual referendums, one for Independence and (in the event of a no vote) one for “Devo max”. The spanner in this idea was that “Scottish” Labour seems to have mislaid simple concepts, like representing the people that elected them and adopting popular ideas. Need I mention Devo Max again?
So what is the best read post of 2012 then? In June Chloe Smith came to prominence as the front person for yet another government u-turn. Her mauling at the hands of Jon Snow and Jeremy Paxman prompted the post “Chloe Smith & The Quality of Scottish Based Political Interviewers”. A piece bemoaning the quality of BBC Scotland’s political interviewers while recommending that the BBC tap up STV’s Bernard Ponsonby.
So, that’s that for 2012. Proper blogging will resume soon.