Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Come On In, the Water’s Lovely

Two friends of mine have just taken up blogging. Being younger* and prettier than me, they’ve both chosen the same austere Blogger template to seem very, very serious, but don’t be put off – both Theo Butt Philip and Andy Strange are witty, engaging, terribly nice chaps and splendid Liberals. Good luck to them both. They’ve even shamed me into posting again on my Doctor Who blog, which had lain fallow while I was consumed with September Lib Demmery… The scariest hangover of which is that one of my speeches is now on YouTube, courtesy of Jonathan Wallace (thanks Jonathan!).

The speech is the one from the Bloggers’ Reception that’s been described as ‘post-watershed’, which existed in a special place in my head as being articulate, confident and getting a lot of laughs. Well, the laughs are very cheering – and I managed to watch enough of the video to see that the yawning chasm I felt myself falling into at that deadly silence after my first rude joke lasted only a few seconds, not the hours it seemed at the time – but now I’m wincing slightly when it turns out the reason my speech goes on so long is the audience appreciation, but that most of the words I say are “um,” “erm” and “you know”. Oh dear. Anyway, Jonathan has now made it available, along with three of the other speeches from the night, so if you missed it, just set up your computer in a very small room, close the windows, turn on the heaters, pack in too many people than you can comfortably fit, and you’ll feel like you were there. But enough about me and the established bloggers. What about Andy and Theo?

Andy’s an Executive councillor in Luton, and one of the most thoroughly nice people in the Lib Dems (ooh, and I notice that he’s added some colour to his template and photo. That’s much cheerier). He’s also a huge computer whiz and the person who I think first tried persuading me to set up a blog of my own; I put it off for long enough myself, so I’m glad he’s finally joined me, albeit as a sad example of the power of peer pressure (him and me both). He’ll be blogging about life, liberalism, and Luton, while my fellow policy wonk Theo is openly a shameless self-publicist. Well, aren’t we all? I’ve already enjoyed his piece on Nick Clegg and the Great Repeal Act, something I should have written about but haven’t yet, though it was a big hit in the Conference hall and probably the most popular Conference speech in the blogosphere. Theo’s take is, ah, subtly different, though it should have been titled Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc. I’m delighted that he takes his blog title, “As I look out over this magnificent vista…” from perhaps my favourite episode of The West Wing, and that its length bodes well for another verbose detailed intelligent blog. Hurrah!

Both of them are kind enough to mention me, and as well as my nagging poor Andy, it appears it was my speech on blogging last week that got Theo going, too. Gosh. He must have been drinking inspired. I’m looking forward to reading a lot from each of them.

*Andy is in fact not younger than me. But he looks it, which is worse.

You didn't really say "er" that often...
Trying not gloat over the age thing. ;-)

Seriously, thanks for the kind words and the plug.
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