Thank you to all those who have assisted me since I started blogging. Having not even been going for a year, I was very surprised to be in the top 100 Labour bloggers. As I am fond of quoting about others, this is a local blog for local people. Most winners of this award comment regularly on national affairs.
My aim is to concentrate on Thanet and Kent politics and I hope that is largely what I do. I am also fortunate that a number of Labour colleagues and others have given extensively of their time and knowledge. I am always happy to publish guest blogs. The suggestions of friends mean I have never been short of content, and I often do not get round to posting ideas or even drafted pieces because events move on. My apologies especially to those who have put in effort to things that do not see the light of day. My thanks to most local bloggers who have been encouraging and supportive. Having constructive disagreements is one of the pleasures of blogging. We can have political discourse at a level that a local paper can barely touch upon.
I am also fortunate that I have local Conservative opponents who provide colourful content. It motivates me to blog because I despair at their poor or double standards. I am lucky (but I do not think Thanet is) that what could be a sleepy District Council generates a lot of "interesting" stories.
I think Thanet probably has the leading local political blogging scene in the country. There could even be a doctorate in studying it for some bright politics student. In a small way I am playing a part in the local politics of the future right now. I have asked around, and nowhere with such a relatively small population has such vibrant views expressed eloquently and excruciatingly depending on your perspective.
I thank Eastcliff Richard for his congratulations and read Tony Flaig's analysis with interest. I'm a 3 by the way Tony. I do not write this blog to attract numbers or rankings, I write it because I enjoy it and to advance the Thanet Labour cause. We could have some interesting categories to assess Thanet blogs.
Best photography? Most amusing? Best analysis of Council meetings? Top airport coverage? Historical analysis? None of these would I have a chance of winning in Thanet. Then we could move on to the really important categories.....
Local politician with most photographs of himself on his blog? I know I cannot win that. Citing of most personal achievements? Again I have no chance. How about namedropping?
Should I mention the time I took tea with the Queen and Mrs. Thatcher, or my time working for Hillary Clinton? I cannot see what relevance they have to how I perform as a councillor in Thanet and to current events, so I will leave that to others.
I know though, that some others think these categories vitally important to their reputations in local politics. I occasionally have wicked thoughts about playing name dropping "ping-pong" with a fellow local blogger, but that would be a distraction from discussing how poor Thanet District Council is in some areas, and how unacceptable the conduct of several Conservative councillors is. That affects us all daily, costs us money, and gives Thanet a tarnished reputation it does not deserve.
To be clear I am happy as a backbencher who blogs. I do not seek to be a MP/MEP/Council Leader/Cabinet member. I do seek to have better results and value for money for Thanet, and believe that can be delivered best by Labour. I will continue to go on about green tourism, the need for more accountability and openness, campaign for better quality, and more representative councillors in Thanet, better street cleaning, and anything else that takes my fancy. Sometimes I will try to be a citizen journalist and report on local matters. Thank you to everybody who comments, emails me, writes for the blog or talks to me about my blog. It would not be where it is without you.
Thank you again to everybody who has helped and supported me.