Orwell Prize

I’m in the elite super exclusive top 164 bloggers who have put themselves forward for it.

As I’m going to be away a while, why not peruse my wares and see for yourself if you think I’m worth a cheeky wager.

  1. The Limits of Democracy
  2. The Logic and Lunacy of Kim Jong-il
  3. High Heels, Low Politics
  4. One World Con: The Conservatives’ ideas on Development are Dangerous
  5. Migration is not a crime, but the way it’s discussed is criminal
  6. One of the most wrongheaded posts I have ever read
  7. Jan Moir first draft: The truth about my views on the tragic death of Stephen Gately
  8. Why Thomas Byrne is wrong on Fairtrade
  9. Slavery and the Periphery
  10. Does Socialism cause Racism?

Yeah, be intimidated 54th most influential blogger Paul Cotterill!

In all seriousness, if I were to put together a Longlist from those who’ve put themselves forward it’d look like this.

  1. Anton Vowl Enemies of Reason; Mailwatch; Farewell Prozac http://enemiesofreason.blogspot.com; www.mailwatch.co.uk; http://farewellprozac.blogspot.com
  2. Heresiarch Heresy Corner http://heresycorner.blogspot.com
  3. Hopi Sen Hopi Sen http://hopisen.wordpress.com
  4. Jack of Kent Jack of Kent http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/
  5. Jim Jepps The Daily (Maybe) http://jimjay.blogspot.com
  6. lenin Lenin’s Tomb http://leninology.blogspot.com
  7. L Outside (Obviously)
  8. Neil Robertson The Bleeding Heart Show http://bleedingheartshow.wordpress.com/
  9. Paul Cotterill Though Cowards Flinch; Bickerstaffe Record; Liberal Conspiracy http://thoughcowardsflinch.com; http://www.bickerstafferecord.org.uk; http://liberalconspiracy.org/author/paulc/
  10. Phil BC A Very Public Sociologist http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com
  11. Sunder Katwala Next Left; Liberal Conspiracy http://www.nextleft.org/; http://liberalconspiracy.org/author/sunderk/
  12. Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy; Pickled Politics; Guardian Comment is Free http://liberalconspiracy.org/author/admin/; http://www.pickledpolitics.com; http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/sunnyhundal
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9 thoughts on “Orwell Prize

    1. I don’t think this is wrong or even particularly unfair, but I’d suggest it may be a little too partial a judgement.

      At the most basic level, none of us would be blogging if we thought our webby wonderings weren’t of some potential value or interest to someone. We write stuff and we’d like other people to read it, and (for me, at least) attracting people to our blogs provides the impetus to write more and better stuff.

      To this end, being on last year’s longlist was as gratifying as you or Sunny or leftoutside sending a link my way. It didn’t make me think I was one of the best writers (for I most certainly am not) or one of the best bloggers (alas, no), but it was nice that a bunch of folks thought I was readable enough to get an honourable mention & a few thousand new hits.

      It’s completely true, of course, that the judging criteria is problematic; those 10 posts represented what I thought was my best work, but probably wasn’t an accurate representation of my blogging for that year. Yet when you consider that all the other, more quantitative measurements of a blog’s worth are also flawed, that criticism isn’t something that particularly bothers me.

      In fact, the virtue of the Orwell Prize is that it gives people the chance to see (however briefly) the better side of blogging. There are many whose knowledge of blogs won’t stray too far from Guido or whatever’s on the Daley Dozen, and I think the general perception of what blogging is or should be is defined by those writers. If all the OP achieves is showing a different, more thoughtful/wonkish/literary/academic side of political blogging, I’d say that was probably a net gain for blogging’s reputation.

      For what it’s worth, though, my blog’s actually received more traffic through Stumbling & Mumbling than it has from the Orwell Prize, so perhaps you might have to count yourself as being among those ‘self-appointed elites’! ;-)

      1. I agree about the better side of blogging idea.

        But when people like Unity or Chris aren’t involved well… it fails on that count.

        Its still a more friendly list than Obnoxio the Clown’s blogroll I suppose.

        1. I forget which one Obnoxio is, but I do think that Tim Burton could make a fine film about the libertarian blogosphere. I mean, you’ve got a devil, a clown, a packet of rank tobacco, a dead terrorist, a raging baby, a raccoon and a penguin.

          Just think of the fun you could have with that lot – like the Wizard of Oz crossed with the Saw films.

    2. Well I guess someone didn’t get their nomination in on time this year! [/snark]

      Okay seriously, chris I understand your point. But I’ve got to disagree.

      The statistical point you make is excellent. The bias in the posts I’ve presented is probably away from the most accurate representation of my blogging and towards something a bit more “journalese” I suppose, playing to the audience.

      But, what I write is never written with an eye on any of these prizes or wikio or bloddy Iain Dale. I don’t write with an eye on anything other than reaching as wide an audience as I can, changing as many minds as possible and solidifying social ties with those who already agree with me. I also like to be funny/rude, hence my opening sentence.

      The Orwell prize merely sparked me to work out what my “best” posts were, its not like it cost me any time I didn’t want to expend or effort that wouldn’t have been exerting in a similar task some time soon.

      So too it will help me reach a wider audience, although I agree with Neil that a reasonable amount of my traffic comes from you whenever you link to me (which I have been very grateful for, thanks) and will probably continue to do so.

      I also, as a man, like to boast about how great I am at things and getting longlisted (which is a longshot) is probably, at best, destined to be used by me as a proxy for how big my willie is. I’m okay with this, its a flaw in myself I’ve had to come to embrace.

      So its not so much caring about what an elite think, because that’s not my aim. I would rather be appreciated by the bloggers I read and argue with than by Oona King or nightjack, but I think I can do both. Or at least I hope I could.

      Oh… and the £3000 prize would really help cover the exorbitant fees for the masters from LSE in Global History I want to start in October. I think I may have to turn Belle de Jour if I don’t win…

  1. Chris

    I think we all approach it with sufficient level of postmodern irony to make our participation justifiable.

    Anyway, I’m going to win cos everyone else is rubbish.

    1. Methinks you protest too much Paul.

      “Oh me [coy smile], not I don’t care at all(!)” as you slip a brown paper envelope to Oona King…

      Later… “But Officer Nightjack! It was a postmodern bribe!”

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