Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Seeing the light

I have tended to be a little sceptical about lists of popular blogs, although I now realise, in the light of Iain Dale's list of the top 30 media blogs, what a brilliant and accurate barometer of quality writing they are.

As an independent blog without an official BBC platform, I was rather surprised to find myself in the top 10 alongside Nick Robinson and that bloke who analyses Westminster from Derbyshire.

Many thanks to those of you who voted (unsolicited) for me. It's good to know there's someone out there.

UPDATE: Iain Dales has also released a similar survey of the top 40 blogs in the crowded Welsh blogosphere. Congratulations to Peter Black, who won gold, with Glyn Davies silver and Ordovicius bronze.

Miss Wagstaff presents came fourth, ahead of me. It's interesting how "amateur" blogs seem to make more of an impact than those written by professional hacks. Iain Dale says 18 of the top 40 are nationalist blogs - I'm not sure if he includes mine in that total.....

Westminster is still deserted and my regular desk has been turned into a temporary TV studio but I'd better start blogging again soon if I'm to retain my top five position next year.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Back of the net!

It's the traditional curtain-raiser to the football season. Yes, the mini-tournament featuring politicians from the UK's Parliaments and Assemblies has just taken place.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas may be as sick as a parrot after registering two own goals while turning out for a Welsh Assembly XI.

Full details are here although my man with the lip microphone and sheepskin coat tells me the second own goal was against Scotland.

The transfer window doesn't close until August 31 - there's still time for Fergie, Big Phil and the others to launch a bid for the Wrexham dynamo.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Surround sound AMs

Six days away from the office. What did I miss? A total of 457 e-mails (it would be more but the BBC has a great spam filter). Gordon Brown is still on holiday - and still Prime Minister, despite the threat posed by various Davids.

Politicians' expenses are still in the news, although this time it's Welsh Assembly Members who are making the news through a freedom of information request from the BBC.

Eight AMs claimed the maximum possible amount of £12,500 for second home expenses in the last financial year.

One of the highest claimants, Lib Dem Leader Mike German has his main home just seventeen miles from Cardiff Bay. We all know how tricky the M4 can be of a morning.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then you're probably an AM. Besides rent and mortgage interest payments, the claims include a £2,000 sofa for Labour's Lesley Griffiths and £1,000 for a TV surround sound system for Tory Nick Ramsey. He also spent £2,000 on two beds.

No news yet on why an AM needs more than one taxpayer-funded bed, but Nick's sounds like the place to be next time there's a big match on.