For all our readers, whether regular or no, thanks for your interest in this blog over the last twelve months. The hope is that it entertained and stimulated your thinking.
In truly democratic fashion, a ranked list of the top ten blogs from among the 240-odd posted throughout the year, ordered by frequency of hits by which you, the reader, accessed and read them, is given below.
- Chris Marr: Obituary (December 11th) For locals in N. Berwick, there may be no surprise in this topping the list. What might stun them—as it did me—was the size of its lead: swamping the next in line over five times and logging more than 2,000 hits in a very short period. As I said in response to a comment, I only hope I did his complex character, unsung abilities and wide popularity justice.
- You Can’t Get There from Here (March 14th) A critique of Lothian Buses. Although a well-run operation, they do it in a world seemingly unable to understand public transport as a key part of Edinburgh’s offering.
- Along the Highland Line (February 21st) Another transport critique, this time of ScotRail’s apparent inability to see Scotland’s long-haul train journeys as opportunities their minimalist short trains more suited to the Greenock run can’t handle. Class 222 trains like Virgin runs could make them more profit and revolutionise travel to Dundee & Aberdeen especially.
- J’Accuse! (February 18th) Often I despair of any voice of reason coming out of a now habitually venomous Scottish Labour party. But this brave letter, reprinted in full, was replete with true party loyalty, mixed with sincere concerns about where that party was going.
- An Army Fit for a Better Nation (May 14th) One of several blogs imagining the structure of any Scottish Defence Force and what its roles might be. This blog focussed on a very different deployment posture from the UK, more on the Irish model.
- Furth of Forth (July 15th) Bemoaning the UK Government/MCA decision to close Forth Coastguard station on the flawed rationale that fewer stations and reduced intimate knowledge of the ‘patch’ can handle the moody complexity of Scotland’s 6,000-mile coastline.
- South Suburban Salvation (July 13th) Another public transport diatribe bemoaning the glaring absence of any real suburban rail in Edinburgh and the lack of will for a very cost-effective way to provide it via an existing South Suburban Rail Loop.
- Labour for Independence (July 30th) A brave set of Labour activists who think there’s a debate to be had on independence engage with the rest of the country by putting their head above the parapet and launching a website.
- Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (February 7th) The next most popular of several blogs on a Scottish Defence Force, this one written to rebut a dismissive Op Ed piece from Lord Robertson of Port Ellen. A year later I’m still waiting for his plea to his party to “cut the vitriol; we need a debate” to be heeded.
- Britannia Waives the Rules (November 12th) Almost as a complement to No 9 above, this deconstructs the illusion of sensible defence of Scotland, its rigs and other strategic targets from unconventional attack under UK MoD policy.
It’s interesting to take stock. Why half the top ten should come from only two months is not obvious. The above list is far more ‘heavy’ and political than the general run of blogs and are also notable for their almost total lack of humour. While life can be a serious business, it’s too short not to lighten up on a regular basis. This blog may need to consider whether its humorous attempts need to smarten up—or whether it simply attracts an overly serious readership.
Wishing all readers a Guid and Prosperous New Year (unless you belong to the be-bonused wunch of bankers); may you read wide and debate long. And, remember, all comments are free & welcome: all will be accepted, right up to (but not including) the personal and/or insulting. As my dad once put it: “I refuse nothing but blows.“
Keep them coming
,Happy New. Year