First of all can I wish you all a Happy New Year & let’s hope that 2017 will be a better one that 2016.
2016 saw 35 posts in a year which saw the Holyrood elections overshadowed by the events surrounding the EU Referendum on 23 June, though not in the best read posts list here. So let’s get to that top 10 with an appropriate chart rundown music in your head.
At 10 is a post looking at the similarities of Blair’s New Labour project and the Salmond & Sturgeon led era of the SNP, the style of which and policy choices I had previously dubbed ‘Mac New Labour’ on more than one occasion before getting round to writing that post. Given New Labour’s obsession with grip on their image, at 9 was a post about the pro-Independence movement’s own obsession with the media. Namely the targeting of BBC Scotland’s news output in with bill posters designed to undermine the idea of BBC Scotland’s impartiality. How to Lose Friends and to Alienate Key Voters attempted to tell the zealots that it’s not the BBC, it’s really your fault ‘we’ didn’t vote for Independence.
At eight, a blogpost on the First Minister’s first adventures into the EU Referendum campaign, and in particular the Curious Position of the SNP given their dislike of one political union but their love of another political union. At seven, There Used To Be A Political Party Across There. Yeah, there… where Corbyn, O’Donnell, Smith and Benn are scrapping away over the body of something that used to be called The Labour Party. Just outside the top five is a post, titled “We Need To Talk About Regrexit…” where I explain why I don’t regret voting for Brexit.
Into the top five now and the fifth best read post of the year was the results post looking at the Holyrood 2016: The Tale of the Tape. Not fantastic reading for advocates of the #BothVotesSNP campaign. Gosh, remember that. We’ll come back to that in a minute, because the fourth best read post of the year looks at the changing political landscape and concludes that over the past two years we have seen The Death Rattle of TheThird Way. Watching supposedly progressive politicians show us their lack of political nous and general political skills has been the most frustrating aspect of 2016. Progress wingers subsequent toy throwing exercise is a constant reminder of why those people are not qualified to run a shop, never mind the country.
Into the top three and at three is a calm, reasoned post explaining why I voted for the UK to leave the European Union. Of course being a post about the EU, then Immigration must get mentioned, and it does. In the 14th paragraph.
The second best read post of 2016 was a post reviewing the SNP’s election literature for May’s Holyrood elections. The Conservative Party also critiqued the SNP’s lacklustre election campaign and the rather conservative policy positions they took. Certainly the conclusion was that there was not a great deal to justify both votes being given to the SNP for the genuinely centre left voter.
This years best read post is something of a surprise to me. There’s a number of posts that I’d thought would top the list. However, like 2015’s best read post, last years best read post got there through journalistic patronage. Partly inspired by that week’s column in the Sunday Herald by the Common Space editor Angela Haggerty, SNPBad and the Golden Rule of Opposition was a comment on both SNP supporters ridiculing of Scottish Labour through the twitter hashtag #SNPBad and Scottish Labour’s relentlessly negative campaign which at that point refused to proffer Labour solutions to SNP problems.
So, that’s that for 2016, and a good thing too. See you soon for 2017.