New Blood Roundup

Right, I’ve taken my time with this one, but finally here it is – the long-awaited latest addition to the “Now That’s What I Call New Blogging” series. A varied selection of British(ish) blogs started in 2006 (give or take a few weeks), ranging from the big boys and girls of the proper press to the average random punter with a computer – all of them are, however, in some way promising. We don’t like dross here at the Sharpener, despite occasional appearances to the contrary…

Right – enough prevarication. On with the meat of the thing:

Alec Russell in Washington – “Alec is the Telegraph’s Washington Bureau Chief. He has lived in DC covering US politics since September 2003. Previously he was foreign editor in London. He has also had postings in the Balkans and in Africa and written books about both assignments.”

Random quote: “Edwards is now preparing for another run and he tested out his campaign speech on me and other assorted hacks. As with the main runners here, he focused relentlessly on jobs and the poor.”

Am I still me? – “Along with hundreds of others I was on the Piccadilly line tube which was blown up on 7th July 2005. I am still struggling with the aftermath of that experience, it is with me every day. I think it has changed me, for better and for worse. I have started this blog in an effort to try & understand the person I’ve become.” (nominated by Rachel)

Random quote: “I have taken the day off work because my body is telling me to stop. I have been running on adrenaline for weeks, just as I did directly after the bombings. I am going to learn from my mistakes, even if the government are not, and I am taking it easy today.”

Archbishop Cranmer – “Things got just a little bit too hot on 21st March 1556. Haven’t been around much since, but I am as keen as ever to investigate and expose religio-politics or politico-religiosity, whatever the cost”

Random quote: “To outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is a threat to freedom of conscience and to freedom of religion. Christian landlords will no longer have control over what goes on under their roofs, and religious newspapers will no longer be permitted to reject advertising from homosexual organisations on grounds of conscience. How can the law force people of faith to approve and cooperate with values that they can never in conscience accept? What persecution awaits the dissenters?”

Asia Exile – Richard Lloyd Parry – “Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia Editor for The Times and the Foreign Correspondent of the Year. He has lived in Japan since 1995″

Random quote: “I don’t share the view that Japan is undergoing an irreversible lurch to the right but the time and the place when this is easiest to believe is the 15th August, at Yasukuni Shrine. For the Japanese right, shusen kinenbi, or ‘End of the War Commemoration Day’ (what else are they going to call it – Victory Over Us Day?), is Christmas, birthday and Easter all rolled into one, when they get out all their toys and converge on the shrine in a day-long celebration of nationalism, historical revisionism and shouting.”

Beau Bo D-Or – “Involuntary donor to the Paul Keegan & Danny Flower charity at leat 12 times in the last year”

Random quote:

Beware of the Dogma – “The Weblog off M J Martin. Daily commentary on political and religious dogma from a Tory Humanist”

Random quote: “Considering the number of government U-Turns fulled by a lack of cash this week, it does seem as though the Chancellor is at last learning that the honeypot is not filled with everlasting treacle.”

Blog of Funk – “the every day story of the smell of sex” (nominated by bbm)

Random quote: “She laughed, believing me, warming my heart in the process and doing so much good PR for her company I think they should pay her an extra thousand pounds a day. In some parallel universe I arrived at her call centre with flowers, we went out drinking champagne that night, dancing naked under the stars, later coupling in the long grass with the intensity of a supernova and a can of beans.”

Bloggers for Labour have done their own roundup of new Labour-supporting blogs.

Bright’s Blog – “Politics uncovered by Martin Bright, New Statesman political editor”

Random quote: “I knew when I took this job that my Brownite sympathies would be assumed, however critical I was in print. I thought last week’s headline on my piece — A Plague on Both Their Houses – expressed my position pretty clearly. But there’s no accounting for the myopia of the Observer media section: if they can’t spot an Agnes B jacket when they see it, I can’t really help them.”

Catherine Elsworth in Los Angeles – “Catherine has been in Los Angeles covering the west coast of America for the Daily Telegraph since spring 2004. She lives in West Hollywood.”

Random quote: “I made two new additions to my embarrassingly slender knowledge of all things Hollywood last night – backcombed hair is the look du jour for young starlets and Lindsay Lohan and Dustin Hoffman are best pals.”

Colin Randall in Paris – “Colin Randall, married with two grown-up daughters, has been The Daily Telegraph’s Paris bureau chief since July 2004. In 28 years on the paper, he has been a district reporter, chief reporter and executive news editor.”

Random quote: “I’ll take my own advice and stop somewhere nice south of Lyons, on the way (naturellement) to Le Lavandou. There, I will try my best to forget all about Sarko and Sego, Eads and Clearstream and the challenges of this, to me, strangely amateurish form of blogging (the real amateurs being, as it were, the true professionals).”

Comment is Free – “The aim is to host an open-ended space for debate, dispute, argument and agreement and to invite users to comment on everything they read.”

Random quote: “Our prime minister sees himself as a protagonist in an expanding conflict across the Middle East. And he is making our country part of the extended war zone.”

The Cutting Edge – “I’m the author of The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry (www.independent and The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Arris, Olive Branch, 2005). I teach undergraduate courses at the Department of International Relations, University of Sussex, Brighton”

Random quote: “For the last few decades in the Middle East, armageddon has long lingered on the horizon, but in light of recent events, its shadow looms closer. Our leaders are not rational, trustworthy individuals, and we are not safe in their hands. We do not want to experience 7th July 2005 a thousand times over. So we must take action, now; which means making the voices of we, the people, heard so clearly and overwhelmingly that those who kill and support killing in our name can do so no longer.”

Dave, nice but knave – “Leader of Liz’s oppo gets on the interweb thingy” (nominated by Joe Otten)

Random quote: “I came across as exactly the sort of hip young thing that appeals to hip young voters these days. My master stroke was giggling along as Mr Ross and his other guest the actor Mr Bruce Rillis were saying ‘fuck’.”

David Rennie in Brussels – “David has been The Daily Telegraph’s Europe Correspondent since January 2005. He was previously posted to Sydney, Beijing and Washington DC. He lives in Brussels with his wife and two young children.”

Random quote: “Ed Balls was adamant that his boss was actually rather fond of the EU. A few years ago, he went on, some people thought Brown was dangerously pro-European, and might have to be restrained from plunging Britain into the Euro. That had been an exaggeration – but so was the current idea that Brown hated the place, he said.”

Everything Is Electric – “Copyright (c) 2005-2006, Katy Newton.” (nominated by Sunny)

Random quote: “I could pretend that I was an air hostess, or a piano tuner, or that I was the original Pears Soap Kid, or that I once got off with Jarvis Cocker in a Soho basement bar, or that Julie Andrews once changed my nappy when I was a baby, or that I was born with a vestigal tail which has mostly been removed but tragically leaves me unable to wear a G-string, or that I am the survivor of a pair of identical twins the other of which I absorbed cannibalistically in utero, or that I am the only person to have sailed single-handed round the world on a teatray with inflatable armbands taped to its base. All of those would be interesting lies well worth telling. But no, I only ever lie about having seen films.”

If Sam Tarran was in charge – “Age 14″

Random quote: “Where’s Dr John Reid come from then? How did a man who looks a potato with a personality like Victor Meldrew rise to his current position?”

The Injured Cyclist – “On the 24th April 2006 I fell off my bike in central London, landed badly and fractured my right leg in 3 places. I had an open fracture but thanks to the skill of my surgeon at St Thomas’s hospital who reconstructed my leg with 11 screws and a steel plate, I am now recovering. My purpose in writing this Blog is to warn other cyclists of the dangers of cycling in urban areas and the way that your life can change in seconds. I ask for no sympathy nor deserve it. This is my story.”

Random quote: “The noise I had heard a few seconds earlier of a breaking stick was my own leg bone breaking in half.”

John Wilkes – A Friend to Liberty – “British political commentary, humour and gossip”

Random quote: “I do wonder sometimes, what the obsession is that some Tories have with this moralistic outlook. Clearly, they claim to be libertarians in a number of fields, supporting the devolution of managerial decisions to the frontline in the public services and opposing ID cards and other anti-liberty outrages. But when it comes to society and the family, they become all traditionalist and high horse.” – “Blogging mums = grown-up conversation” (nominated by Dave Goodman)

Random quote: “You will need: Custard (ready-made is fine) ; Food colouring (Green + any other colours you have) ; A few plastic bowls and spoons”

A Neo-Jacobin – “London born, free Englishman. Free to say anything, free to go anywhere and free to write anything. A libertarian, arguing for a world that’s fit for us humans to live in.”

Random quote: “Environmentalism seems to be converting what are legitimate concerns into some all-purpose cult like religion. It’s fast becoming the supreme source and standard of all values in human day-to-day life. Humanity, does in fact, face a very real threat in the future, but, it’s not from the melting polar ice-caps, or from too many hurricanes. The danger isn’t from the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, nor is it from planetary levels of CO2, or global warming – the threat comes from environmentalism itself.”

Nothing to see here – “a collaborative guide to some of the world’s lesser-signposted places to go – attractions that may not be all that attractive; coastal towns they forgot to close down; high streets that haven’t been homogenised; oddities and one-offs. The sort of places that are overlooked by guide books and given the bodyswerve by the tourist board. Places that still have a certain charm, a bit of je-ne-sais-quoi about them.”

Random quote: “As you travel along the A66 on the edge of Darlington you’ll see a train on one side of the road. Nothing unusual there except that this one isn’t going anywhere. Designed by leading contemporary artist and sculptor David Mach, Train is made from 185,000 local ‘Accrington Nori’ bricks and commemorates Darlington’s illustrious heritage as ‘home of the railways’. (The Stockton-Darlington Railway which opened in 1825 was Britain’s first permanent steam locomotive railway). Mach describes his train as ‘as much a piece of architecture as a sculpture’. 60 metres long and 6 metres high, it is a perfect rendering of the 1938 classic locomotive “Mallard”, complete with plume of billowing smoke.”

Peter Foster in New Delhi – “Peter has been the Daily Telegraph’s South Asia correspondent since January 2004. He lives in New Delhi with his wife, Clare, and his two children, Billy and Lila, both of whom were born in New Delhi. His ‘patch’ comprises India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives.”

Random quote: “We in the west, as we lay our perpetual claim to civilization, should never stop asking whether our actions are proportionate. Is the evil/violence we commit justified by the evil/violence it prevents? It may be, in time, we decided that the rows of dead children were worthwhile. Children and civilians died in the Blitz, in Dresden, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They probably died in a good cause, although we can argue about individual excesses. My point is only this: that the dead nephews and nieces mentioned in the AP report above need to be entered into the moral equations of this benighted War on Terror.”

Prodicus – “Random jottings on politics by a libertarian Tory. Not liberal or libertinelibertarian. Look it up.”

Random quote: “The most damaging charactertistic of the Labour government is not their stealth taxes, administrative incompetence or sleaze. It is their hubristic contempt for our constitution, which has been fuelled by a mania for power and social control, standing on a firm base of Old Labour class hatred.”

Right, that’s it. I’ve had enough. – “There’s nothing I like better than glancing through the paper, getting extremely cross with the idiocy therein, chucking the paper across the room and yelling … ‘Right…'”

Random quote: “I am absolutely STAGGERED at the vast number of obviously intelligent, well-informed, fluent bloggers who don’t know the difference between Its and It’s. It’s driving me bloody MAD.” – “Simon Carr has been the Independent’s parliamentary sketch writer for the best part of the 21st century… this site is an opportunity for the Sketch to share small experiences with (or in psychiatric parlance, offload them onto) members of the public.”

Random quote: “Twice, recently, the Speaker has told Michael Meacher to sit down and belt up as his supplementaries turn into mini-statements. It’s not just that he’s suffering from ex-Minister’s Nisease. No, he is planning to run against Gordon Brown as the Che Guevara candidate – of course he needs more time to develop his argument in the House than dumb back bench troops. This is a man of destiny. A MAN OF DESTINY, do you hear?”

The Spine – “The pocket-sized website”

Random quote: “Speaking under the promise of complete anonymity, Marine Sergeant Eugene Billywicker explained: ‘We’re being proactive in hitting these terrorist-loving scum where it hurts. They say they’re innocent but we know there’s somebody working them in the background. But now we’re on to them and are out to get the rest of the gang – Kermit, Fozzie, Big Bird, that little thing that looked like a shrimp but I ain’t sure what the hell it is… We’re out to get them all.’”

Stanlavisbad’s European and UK Politics Blog – “Pro-EU, Pro-Reform”

Random quote: “The EU spending plan for 2007 has just come out. Every year until 2013 we will be reminded how pathetic our leaders really are. Tony Blair had not even the slightest bit of courage to do what the EU needs – a budget which doesn’t spend 1/3 of its money on protecting farmers (and not even doing that since most of the money goes to large companies) and destroying 3rd world markets. And don’t even get me started on Jacques Chirac.”

Take back the voice – “no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through.” (nominated by Paul)

Random quote: “The Labour Party needs a new start now. That is the message the trade unions will be taking into the conference season ahead.”

Voxpolis – “Politics, culture, surrealism…”

Random quote: “Have the Tories learnt nothing from their last two election defeats?? They’re back onto the immigration debate, calling for restrictions on immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania when they join the EU next year. This is a bad idea”

Whats going on – “An attempt to try and figure out what the hell is going on in the world”

Random quote: “the look in Blair’s eye when he is around Bush seems to say ‘Oh – isn’t he dreamy! I am the luckiest girl in the world!'”

You see, it is simply a very young boy’s record – “Jangliss’s Journal”

Random quote: “Something equivalent to a Euston Manifesto for the British far left needs to define the post-Soviet consensus, to unite our aims and ‘sloganize’ the way forward. Postmodern and impenetrable though the academic left might be sometimes, this does not need to be our public face.”

  1. The Pedant's Apprentice said:


  2. Meh – I was doesed up on paracetemol and slightly hungover when I wrote that. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…)

  3. Pingback: Tim Worstall

  4. Jonn said:

    Comment is Free

    Hey, I was joking!

  5. Alas I did not make the list. However, I commend this exercise. One of the major stumbling blocks for new bloggers is the fact that we get so few hits and so few comments.

    It is lovely to vent one’s spleen on screen but it is very rewarding when one gets a few hits. This sort of initiative means that more and more people will hit new blogs – which is excellent.

    I must try harder in future.

    Kind regards,


  6. Sunny said:

    haha! That’s funny, putting CiF in there. Nice roundup Nosemonkey.

  7. bbm said:

    The blog of funk is not just about the sweet smell of sex, I promise.

    Oh, and I am not a pervert.

  8. Sorry, Mr/Ms Snob – looks like an oversight on my part.

    Then again, considering there’s meant to be a blog created pretty much every second, I’ve doubtless missed off tens of thousands…

  9. yowsers!….thankyou mister!