'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Sunday 27 October 2013

Farewell, Liberal Conspriracy, I for one will miss you.

Sunny Hundal announced on Friday that Liberal Conspiracy will come to an end in its present form with immediate effect.

I, for one, was sorry to hear this news. Whatever you think of Liberal Conspiracy's politics, Sunny was a passionate blogger, an innovator in the field of blogging (as he points out himself, when it launched You Tube didn't even exist) and got some remarkable stories as exclusives. Plus he afforded a great platform for aspiring bloggers who wanted to get their message out. Like me

I wish Sunny all the best in his future endeavours.

Stephen Tall has attributed the demise of Liberal Conspiracy largely to the success of other multi author platforms like the Guardian's 'Comment is Free' The New Statesman's 'The Staggers' and the Spectators 'Coffee House' (and interest to declare here, I write a weekly piece for The Staggers). It is certainly true that these sites are offering the chance for amateur bloggers like me to reach a much wider audience than perhaps our own sites could reach, and they are getting some amazing readership figures.

However I don't believe that the death of Liberal Conspracy heralds the death of the independent blogger, as Stephen suggests.

Or at least, I think it depends on your motivation to blog.

 I started blogging because I wanted to express my thoughts and be part of the political debate.

Sure I love seeing my stats grow ( this blog get over 10k hits a month now), enjoy seeing what's popular and what's not, and love  it when things I write either get referenced or linked to by the more mainstream blogs and newspapers.

But it's the act of writing, of thinking things to write, of having an outlet to disagree with views I see expressed that I think are incorrect (like the predicted death of amateur blogging) that I like best.

I also like that on my blog I can write a thousand words on a serious policy issue, or 10 words on a cartoon I like, and each is equally valid. I can't do that on The Staggers.

And of course, I am my own editor here. My blog, my rules.

Sure, the blogosphere is getting bigger and the people leading the growth may well be the blogs run by the mainstream press. and sure, small independent blogs fall by the wayside all the time as people get bored, move on, choose to do something different or even just run out of time.

But we'll always be here.

And as Jennie Rigg points out there's one other reason to keep doing it.


  1. Sunny's wrong (again?), about a few things, and you're wrong about others. YouTube was created in 2005, bought by Google in 2006 and was something I'd tried (and failed) to use on my dial up connection when I lived in Torquay. Sunny launched LibCon when I lived in London, 2007, I started writing there in 2008.

    It wasn't the first UK group blog, it wasn't even the first left leaning UK political group blog, but it was more succesful than others and he had the willpower to provide momentum and impetus when other blogs fell apart through inactivity or contributor dropoff.

    Fairly sure Twitter existed when he launched LibCon as well, but I'd have to check—have done so, yeah, Twitter existed too.

    And that's why, while I'll respect the huge amount of work Sunny put in, I'll regularly disagree with him and not take his views entirely seriously, from the very beginning facts were a useful prop to back an opinion up, not something from which opinions should be derived...

  2. Well of course my source for the Twitter fact was Lib Con so I guess that proves your point! :-)

    I know lots of folk have a few issues with Lib Con but I think Sunny was passionate, hard working and dedicated so today, I'll forgive him a few inaccuracies

  3. Guys, read more carefully!
    When talking about YouTube, I referred to when I first started blogging (mid 2005), not when I first started Libcon.

    Also, the reference to YouTube, FB and Twitter was about their popularity and ubiquity (and how they affected blogging), not the exact moment they launched... FB didn't affect blogging till about 2009 I'd say... and Twitter not until a year later at least.

    Cheers for the discussion though!

  4. Sunny, I wnet and factchecked some more. YouTube launched in early 2005, and was half way through the open Beta when you started blogging (a mere year behind me, of course ;-) ). So, y'know.

    But taking affect into account, you've more of a point, I think FB started affecting things a lot earlier (I was definitely seeing things from FB when I lived in London, the discussion was already shifting and what people posted where similar), and Twitter was already big and havign an impact in 2010—I was teaching my PPC how to use Twitter because we could see it was important to have a presence way before the GE, for example, but that's just arguing details.

    But, y'know, the whole "innovative" thing that LC gets credited for is what I have the most problems with-I made good friends through the comments box at, say, The Sharpener, and you and I had already been arguing the toss at CiF and Pickled before it launched-some people mistake the first example they personally see for being the innovative thing, instead of the refinement. Making refinements and finishing a model off is important, but it's not innovative, really.