2008 was a thoroughly bemusing year for me. I found very little to inspire me politically and I think this blog has suffered as a result. If I began the year with an excess of optimism, the opposite seems to be the case by the end of the year.
It was a year where the political class seemed to lurch from one crisis to the next, learning nothing in the process. The Derek Conway debacle has lead to, well, pretty much nothing. The Lisbon Treaty debacle lead to the Lib Dems engaging in stunt politics for almost entirely the wrong reasons. The London Mayoral Election brought personality politics in the UK to unprecedented levels. The government’s entire constitutional renewal programme stumbled around achieving almost nothing. “42 days” was defeated, only for both the government and their Tory opponents to announce plans for even greater surveillence. The economy fell apart while the main parties argued pointlessly about public borrowing and tax cuts, almost entirely missing the point. And there has been a palpable sense of green agenda retreating. In the latter two cases, at least, I can point to the Lib Dems as providing a meaningful alternative.
The ten “top” Quaequam Blog! posts in 2008* were, in date order:
- Beware Livingstone supporters claiming you have no choice (25 January) – in the end, Brian Paddick’s candidacy proved to be extremely disappointing and the Lib Dems were squeezed to an alltime low in London.
- Does Rowan Williams have any more idea of what heâ€™s going on about than I do? (8 February) – a typical attempt by Rowan Williams to have his cake and eat it (in that respect, it mirrors his comments on disestablishment of the Church of England a few weeks ago)
- Logical fallacies and euroscepticism (13 February) – an attempt to intervene in the dull Lisbon Treaty debate via the medium of diagrams. The Lisbon debate was one of the most thoroughly bemusing aspects of 2008.
- 15 February 2003: five years (and 11 days) later (26 February) – my attempt to sum up my experience of the Great Anti-War Demonstration.
- Is Nick Harvey happy being the unacceptable face of Parliament? (21 March)
- Child porn, cartoons and unintended consequences (28 May) – this post had a huge number of readers, mostly the wrong kind who appeared to be looking for actual child porn. For similar reasons, my post from last year about Madeleine McCann also topped the poll.
- Tory calls to make maths â€œchicâ€ badly miss the point (3 June)
- Clegg unveils super powers? (21 August)
- Dangerous Complacency over the Damian Green affair (30 November)
- Why the green movement fails (7 December)
Like many, I enter 2009 in a pretty pessimistic mood about the future. Here’s hoping it will confound my expectations at least as much as 2008 did!
* According to the most poll ratings, highest poll ratings, most readers and my personal favourites – all of which are equally problematic.