Sunday, 19 December 2010

Question That

Question That has been closed since January 2009, however I have left a sample of the posts up to give people some idea of what was here.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: The Final Countdown

Here's the full countdown of QT's 'Festive 50' Top 50 blogs...

50 If Sam Tarran Were In Charge
49 Clairwil
48 TheFatBigot Opines
47 Jon Worth's Euroblog
46 Shiraz Socialist
45 The Tin Drummer
44 A Very Public Sociologist
43 Tom Harris MP
42 Blogzilla
41 Lancaster Unity
40 The Broadsheet Rag
39 Letters From A Tory
38 Craig Murray
37 Hagley Road To Ladywood
36 The Appalling Strangeness
35 The Daily (Maybe)
34 Labour & Capital
33 5 Chinese Crackers
32 PJC Journal
31 NHS Blog Doctor
30 The Landed Underclass
29 An Englishman's Castle
28 Mark Wadsworth
27 Adam Smith Institute Blog
26 Nosemonkey's EUTopia
25 Mr Eugenides
24 Iain Dale's Diary
23 Bob's Head Revisited
22 Burning Our Money
21 Ministry of Truth
20 Samizdata
19 Spy Blog
18 Enemies of Reason
17 Dave's Part
16 Ambush Predator
15 Boatang & Demetriou
14 Guido Fawkes
13 Stumbling & Mumbling
12 Longrider
11 EU Referendum
10 Old Holborn
9 Charlotte Gore
8 UK Libertarian Party Blog
7 Tim Worstall
6 Obsolete
5 To Miss With Love
4 Political Betting
3 Underdogs Bite Upwards
2 Liberal Conspiracy
1 The Devil's Kitchen

QT's Festive 50: #2 & #1

2. LIBERAL CONSPIRACY (23)




Liberal Conspiracy was set up in November 2007, with a stated aim of 'bringing together and re-invigorating the liberal-left in Britain through discussion and campaigning. In the former, it has undoubtedly succeeded; Liberal Conspiracy made it so high in this countdown because the whole is greater than the parts, and the parts are a roll-call of the left's best bloggers, including SepticIsle, Chris Dillow, Dave Osler, and Sunny Hundal who also edits the blog. As for the latter - we'll have to wait and see... Liberal Conspiracy features some good, robust comments thread debates, and minimal moderation of comments. The daily netcast and newsreel provide another reason - as if more were needed - to visit 'LibCon' every day.

Read Andrew Hickey - 'Why I am not a Libertarian'


1. THE DEVIL'S KITCHEN (6)





The Devil's Kitchen is, for anyone who has somehow remained unaware of it, a libertarian blog run by the eponymous DK. It is the original swear-blog, DK having begun venting his rage here just under four years ago. Although the fire and fury on display here in the first couple of years has been sanitised somewhat, it's still written with a genuine passion. As well as DK's trademark ranting, The Devil's Kitchen features guest posts from a variety of other writers, not all of whom share DK's consequentialist libertarian worldview - occasionally leading to some vituperative comments, which are never moderated. The Devil's Kitchen was the greatest inspiration for my decision to begin blogging, and remained such throughout the time Question That was online. As such, putting this blog at the head of my top 50 was an easy decision.

Read The Devil's Kitchen - 'Oh yeah? How, exactly?'

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: #4 & #3

4. POLITICAL BETTING (5)




Political Betting proclaims that it is Britain's most-read political blog. It may seem like a niche interest - gambling on political outcomes - but over more than 5 years Political Betting has grown to be one of the most highly-regarded blogs around, thanks to the insightful and unbiased commentary provided by its writers Mike Smithson, Morus and Double Carpet on Parliamentary politics and referenda in the UK, USA and elsewhere. In addition, the lively community of regular contributors to discussions is very much a part of the attraction of the site, as recent 'poster of the year' awards acknowledged.

Read Morus - 'Is the PM a True Gambler?'


3. UNDERDOGS BITE UPWARDS (N/A)




Underdogs Bite Upwards is a libertarian blog authored by the pseudonymous Leg-iron. Suffice to say I am hugely impressed with the standard of polemical writing on show here; such that I rate Underdogs Bite Upwards as my current favourite of all single-author blogs. Unusually, it is located on the LiveJournal platform - generally not an indicator of a great blog. I love the name, though, the overall presentation, and especially posts such as the rant I've highlighted below - my pick for Blog Post of the Year 2008.

Read Leg-Iron - 'How Weak Have We Become?'

BONUS: Read Leg-Iron at Old Holborn's - 'The Children Aren't Thinking Of You'

Sunday, 28 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: #6 & #5

6. OBSOLETE (60)




Obsolete is a centre-left blog run by the pseudonymous SepticIsle, who has been providing insightful, in-depth, high-quality commentary on a variety of topics here since summer 2005. This blog has only quite recently begun attracting the attention it deserves. Since I discovered this blog two years ago, I have regarded its author as the single best centre-left writer in the British blogosphere. Long may 'Obsolete' stay relevant!

Read SepticIsle - 'Eady Lays Down The Law'


5. TO MISS WITH LOVE (123)




To Miss With Love is the blog of Miss Snuffleupagus (Snuffy), a black teacher in an inner-city school in London. The stories she tells of her struggles with clueless fellow teachers, idiotic parents, political correctness and of course her pupils make this hands down the most absorbing (and at times rage-inducing) 'work blog' there is. If any blogger in Britain merits a book deal, it is Miss Snuffleupagus. This is simply essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the state that secondary education in the UK is in.

Read Miss Snuffleupagus - 'Hanging My Head'

QT's Festive 50: #8 & #7

8. UK LIBERTARIAN PARTY (62)




The UK Libertarian Party blog is the blog of the newly formed political party of the same name, and several of the party's active members post there, including most interestingly the party treasurer Patrick Vessey. Vessey's emphasis on the global economy, corporations and bankers perhaps seemed esoteric 6 months ago - not any more, and now it's the LPUK blog that is in tune with the times. Here you'll find some of the best commentary on the economic situation from a libertarian perspective this side of the Atlantic.

Read Patrick Vessey - 'Let 'Em Burn: Redux'


7. TIM WORSTALL (12)




Tim Worstall has been blogging in one form or another since spring 2004, making him the longest-standing blogger on this list. At the blog that bears his name, he prolificly writes characteristically brief posts in which he often acerbically comments on matters reported in the media and on other websites. In particular, he regularly targets the woolly thinking of columnists including Polly Toynbee and George Monbiot. Tim writes at more length for other outlets, including the Adam Smith Institute and Spectator.

Read Tim Worstall - 'Yes, It's Richard Murphy!'

Saturday, 27 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: #10 & #9

10. OLD HOLBORN (150)




Old Holborn only started blogging in January, started slowly, but by mid-November was attracting over 1,000 readers a day to his blog. The keyboardist and his occasional guests write the sweariest of the swear-blogs, are thoroughly disdainful of politicians and other criminals, and promise even bigger things in 2009. I'm expecting Old Holborn, if he continues in the vein of the past few months, to be one of the biggest names in British blogging by the end of next year (if he doesn't get arrested first).

Read Old Holborn - 'The Diary of Old Holborn, July 7th 2011'


9. CHARLOTTE GORE (N/A)




Charlotte Gore is a libertarian and member of the Liberal Democrats. She also writes some of the most interesting posts on any blog around. Charlotte is one of the bloggers whose posts I find myself nodding my head in agreement with the most - some of the thoughts expressed here strongly echo some of my own 'political philosophy'-oriented musings. When there is disagreement on this blog, as with some of the more left-leaning Lib Dems who comment, some fascinating discussions arise.

Read Charlotte Gore - 'The Big Family'

Friday, 26 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: #12 & #11

12. LONGRIDER (N/A)




Longrider* is another underappreciated blog. Its pseudonymous author has firm libertarian convictions and writes some great polemic, though he is not a swearblogger. Particularly strong on civil liberties issues, Longrider was one of those writers that, through their blogs, inspired me to begin blogging.

Read Longrider - 'Snitch Britain - Part XXX'


11. EU REFERENDUM (11)




EU Referendum is, as the name suggests, a blog dedicated to following European issues from an EU-sceptic perspective. It is authored by researchers Helen Szamuely and Richard North, and in its sphere is one of the most authoritative British political blogs.

Read Richard North - 'Vintage Booker'

QT's Festive 50: #14 & #13

14. GUIDO FAWKES (1)




Guido Fawkes is almost certainly Britain's best-known blog. The pseudonymous 'Guido' began blogging in September 2004, and since then has been a constant thorn in the side of the establishment and of leftists. Love or loathe the author's no holds barred approach to reporting the latest hot gossip, no list of top British political blogs would be complete without it.

Read Guido Fawkes - 'The Sith Suffered a Grave Defeat Yesterday'


13. STUMBLING & MUMBLING (20)




Stumbling & Mumbling is a uniquely intriguing blog. Chris Dillow, its author, asks the kind of questions that few others would think of - then brings his knowledge of economics, sociology and psychology to bear in consideration of possible approaches to answering said questions. Dillow's posts are readable, brief and often humorous, and the ensuing discussions can be very good. Discussions that begin here have been known to move across to other blogs, with several other thinkers having their say.

Read Chris Dillow - 'Two Libertarianisms'

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: Rundown 32-15

Here's the second of three part rundowns of the countdown so far...

32 PJC Journal
31 NHS Blog Doctor
30 The Landed Underclass
29 An Englishman's Castle
28 Mark Wadsworth
27 Adam Smith Institute Blog
26 Nosemonkey's EUTopia
25 Mr Eugenides
24 Iain Dale's Diary
23 Bob's Head Revisited
22 Burning Our Money
21 Ministry of Truth
20 Samizdata
19 Spy Blog
18 Enemies of Reason
17 Dave's Part
16 Ambush Predator
15 Boatang & Demetriou

The first part of the countdown can be found here.

QT's Festive 50: #16 & #15

16. AMBUSH PREDATOR (N/A)




Ambush Predator is one of a select few blogs of female authorship in this list. Its a straight-talking blog - JuliaM "bites fools and left wingers", as promised in her profile, and passes acerbic comment on examples of idiocy and illiberality from across the country.

Read JuliaM - '"This, right here, is why we can't have nice things"'


15. BOATANG & DEMETRIOU (N/A)




Boatang & Demetriou is a highly under-rated blog, written by two libertarians: Kevin Boatang and John Demetriou. Both are highly opinionated and write interesting and thought-provoking posts about the economy, the media and political events; such as that highlighted below. Disagreement has led to some in-depth discussions over there and on here.

Read John Demetriou - 'Britain, War, Socialism, Selfishness & Libertarian Considerations'

QT's Festive 50: #18 & #17

18. ENEMIES OF REASON (146)




Enemies of Reason began just over a year ago. Since then, Anton Vowl's page has become Britain's premier mainstream media watching blog. With a strong centre-left line, the posts combine opinionated commentary with discussions of the veracity or otherwise of the contents of the Sun, Mail, Express etc. One of the most entertaining left-wing blogs as well as fulfilling its niche exceptionally well

Read Anton Vowl - 'Russell Brand v the Daily Mail: Don't make me choose between you!'


17. DAVE'S PART (35)




Dave's Part is a cut above the average socialist blog, thanks to the engaging writing of its author Dave Osler. Unusually, it gives the impression of having been written with an open mind and for a general audience, rather than a small clique of like-minded souls - hence posts like the one highlighted below. If you want to gain some understanding of what goes on to the left of Labour, you could do a lot worse than to put Dave's Part in your feed-reader.

Read Dave Osler - 'Why Can't the Left Do Populism?'

QT's Festive 50: #20 & #19

20. SAMIZDATA (40)




Samizdata is a well-established libertarian group blog. It is a real stalwart of British political blogging, that has forged a unique identity based on core principles - many of which are shared with US Libertarians. It has its own community of contributors and commenters that exists apart from all of the other libertarian blogs mentioned in this list. Posts cover affairs in the UK, Europe and North America, philosophy and literature. Some very high-quality writing is featured here, and though discussions are typically dominated by one viewpoint they are often worth reading.

Read Adriana Lukas - 'House of Terror'


19. SPY BLOG (134)




Spy Blog is the UK domestic civil liberties blog. It is simply essential reading for anyone concerned about over-reaching state power, civil liberties and the database state. In addition to the always well-researched, comprehensive posts themselves, Spy Blog also features links to a host of valuable resources.

Read Spy Blog - 'Communications Data Retention - internet access, internet e-mail and internet telephony'

QT's Festive 50: #20 & #19

20. SAMIZDATA (40)




Samizdata is a well-established libertarian group blog. It is a real stalwart of British political blogging, that has forged a unique identity based on core principles - many of which are shared with US Libertarians. It has its own community of contributors and commenters that exists apart from all of the other libertarian blogs mentioned in this list. Posts cover affairs in the UK, Europe and North America, philosophy and literature. Some very high-quality writing is featured here, and though discussions are typically dominated by one viewpoint they are often worth reading anyway.

Read Adriana Lukas - 'House of Terror'


19. SPY BLOG (134)




Spy Blog is the UK domestic civil liberties blog. It is simply essential reading for anyone concerned about over-reaching state power, civil liberties and the database state. In addition to the always well-researched, comprehensive posts themselves, Spy Blog also features links to a host of valuable resources.

Read Spy Blog - 'Communications Data Retention - internet access, internet e-mail and internet telephony'

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: #22 & #21

22. BURNING OUR MONEY (8)




Burning Our Money is the blog of the pseudonymous Wat Tyler, who has been on the case of Government waste and inefficiency for almost four years. In that time it has become one of the most highly regarded of all the independent UK political blogs, thanks to detailed, usually number-filled posts describing misuses of taxpayers' money and financial mismanagement.

Read Wat Tyler - 'The Staff Room Dumbs Down'


21. MINISTRY OF TRUTH (32)




Ministry of Truth is also a blog by a single, pseudonymous author (Unity) which has become enormously well-respected thanks to the thoroughness and strength of argument displayed with each and every post. Unity focuses on a variety of Government policy, media presentation of social issues, science and religion, and stories involving politicians. Each post is written very well, and Ministry of Truth is noted for the length of the posts featured there - some are more like essays. On the basis of his output, Unity must be one of the most likely bloggers to become a professional political commentator in the future.

Read Unity - 'The Purloined Policy'

Monday, 22 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: #24 & #23

24. IAIN DALE'S DIARY (2)




Iain Dale's Diary is of course one of the two blogs that people outside of the blogging community are most likely to have heard of. Although Dale is not an MP, nor is he a councillor, he is one of the Conservative Party's most famous names thanks to this blog, which has been running for an amazing five years. It combines Westminster gossip, political opinion, and also lots of 'blogging about blogging' at a prolific rate.

Read Iain Dale - 'Reflections on Barack Obama'


23. BOB'S HEAD REVISITED (N/A)




Bob's Head Revisited, as well as having one of the best names of any blog in this list, is also one of the most promising new blogs I have started reading this year. 'Bob' began posting, and soon began attracting attention with some really thoughtful, well-argued and well-set-out posts such as the one highlighted below.

Read Bob's Head Revisited - 'Idealism, Equality and Power'

Friday, 19 December 2008

QT's Festive 50: #26 & #25

26. NOSEMONKEY'S EUTOPIA (155)




Nosemonkey's EUTopia (formerly Europhobia) is a blog focusing on the EU that is distinguished by the fact that its author, although pro-EU, tries hard to be relatively politically neutral. It almost always avoids being dull despite the unappealling nature to the casual reader of some of the topics discussed. The pseudonymous author is interested in European history and culture as well as politics, enhancing the interest of this blog to a wide readership. When a European issue catches my attention, as in the circumstances surrounding the highlighted post, this is always one of the first blogs I take a look at.

Read Nosemonkey - 'The Lisbon Treaty is Dead'


25. MR EUGENIDES (16)




Mr Eugenides is a long-running swear-blog, which began in October 2005. Mr E focuses his ire largely on Government, officials and bureaucrats, and the blog consists of a combination of ranting and humour - often both in the same post while at the same time bringing serious issues to the reader's attention. Once in a while Mr E comes up with an absolute peach of a post that ought to be mailed to every household in the UK, such as that highlighted below.

Read Mr Eugenides - 'Just Give Us Your Money and Shut Up'

QT's Festive 50: #28 & #27

28. MARK WADSWORTH (101)




Mark Wadsworth is a UKIP member who has been blogging since July 2007. He is an accountant and writes informed and well-argued posts on the subjects of tax - he is a strong advocate of a Land Value Tax - the economy, and the EU. His mostly serious posts are interspersed with some excellent drawings of political figures.

Read Mark Wadsworth - 'Personal Carbon Allowance'


27. THE ADAM SMITH INSTITUTE BLOG (27)




Adam Smith Institute Blog is, as you may have guessed, the blog of the free-market think tank of the same name. It is a group blog with a long list of contributors including the Director of the Institute, author of the highlighted post. At the ASI Blog, you can typically expect posts attacking Keynesianism and 'big government' and backing tax cuts and free trade. The daily 'Blog Review' is a real resource for the blogger, uncovering gems that other blogrounds miss.

Read Dr Eamonn Butler - 'The Fall of Sterling'