Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Two Years Young
Err, there's no cake. And I'm not called Ashwin....
It hardly seems like yesterday, does it, but this blog is now two years old.
In truth, it seems to have been part of my life for much, much longer. Despite the brickbats from my many anonymous friends, I've come to really enjoy blogging, as it allows me to set my own online agenda. And it's been a fascinating time to reflect on politics here in Darlington, through the Tesco debate, Labour's 2007 local election victory, and of course the historic No vote in the Mayoral Referendum.
(Of course, you've also had to wade through my thoughts on matters as diverse as local restaurants, Dr Who and the Banana Splits...)
I've been assisted in no small part too by the fact that Darlington now has a vibrant online political scene. With active councillors from all three parties blogging regularly, a forum for debate has been created outside of the walls of the Town Hall. Whilst Gill and Mike Cartwright, or Mike Barker and I might have vigorous exchanges of views from time to time, no-one can be in any doubt as to where our respective parties stand. Those who have weak arguments tend to get found out in the dynamic of debates during an exchange too. Although of course we may disagree as to who's winning and losing the argument, people who read our material inevitably will make up their own minds independently.
From what I can see, Darlington has the most active online political community in the North of England. And that's something to take some pride in.
Blogging's a democratizing force too. Believe me, there have been times when I would happily have taken an online meat-cleaver to some posts, but it remains the case that anyone can leave a comment here which will be read straightaway. I've probably deleted fewer than 10 grotesquely offensive comments in the past two years, not bad when you think that thousands of comments have been left.
So thanks to everyone again who's taken the trouble to read the blog, and more so if you've left a comment - it helps make this blog what it is. Biggest plaudits to those who actually leave their (real) names - for the most part those comments have ten times the credibility of the anonymous posts.
Here's to 2008-09...