Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Slugger Political Blog of the Year ... I won!

It doesn't seem like a year since last year's inaugural Slugger Awards, but tonight we all squeezed into the Black Box to see who would pick up this year's plaudits

Biggest cheer of the night went to Dawn Purvis who collected MLA of the Year, with BBC Hearts and Minds' Julia Paul winning Journalist of the Year. The full list can be found on Slugger and UTV have an online video report of the main awards.

I was initially surprised and bemused at this blog being nominated and then shortlisted in the the blog category.

Being sketched on stage by Martin Rowson

This blog was only ever intended to last for a couple of months, I was planning to stay anonymous, and the topic of politics was going to be completely avoided.

So standing on stage last night as the rather surprised winner of Political Blogger of the Year, I failed all three of those targets!

The prize was a personalised sketch by Martin Rowson, completed in the corner of the stage while the next award was being made. And a personal highlight has got to be compère Tim McGarry's rant about this blog's unimaginative name. (Davy Sims' podcast of the night covers the slaggin' in detail!)

My thanks to Mick for his encouragement over the years, to the Commissioner for Public Appointments in NI (Felicity Huston) who sponsored the category, to those who nominated AiB and to my fellow nominees.

Martin Rowson blotting his ink drawing

If like me you sometimes struggle to think of Alan in Belfast as political, then you should probably turn back to the posts in the early summer that covered the European Election process, a series on how local councils and other public bodies make themselves accountable online, and a more recent set of interviews with East Belfast politicians to see discover how they view their local community, their party and the level of public engagement with politics. There are a fair few posts tagged with politics ...

As a local blogger who tries to remain independent and steer clear of making party political comment, I really didn't expect to win ... but am quietly chuffed.

Update - And having bumped into Patrick Corrigan at the airport this morning (Tuesday) I'm reminded that not everyone has the freedom to express their opinions online.

John Baucher (Moochin Photoman) takes great photos ...

Bottom image taken by the most excellent Moochin Photoman.

15 comments:

Norwin! said...

Oh wow!
Congratulations!
Didn't I say that no good would come of all this politics??

splinteredsunrise said...

Congrats, well deserved!

Gary said...

Congratulations Alan! And so soon after winning your first election. Should we expect you running for Stormont next time round?

AM said...

Alan, well done. Keep the quality flowing

Anthony

Connor said...

congrats on the award...

Patrick Corrigan said...

Alan, you're a well deserved winner and always worth a read whether it's about politics or anything else that comes across your radar.

And thanks for the plug for the 'free the bloggers' campaign.

Maybe other bloggers across NI (and beyond) could also help to promote the campaign (btw, thanks to Mick @Slugger and UnionistLite who've already done so) and spread via other social networking tools... It could genuinely make a difference.

Thanks and congrats again!

Brabazon said...

Congrats. What a great prize too. Will you be posting Rawson's sketch on the blog?

Timothy Belmont said...

Very well done, Alan. Well deserved indeed.

Tim

Sharon said...

I am so pleased you won Alan. Well deserved and yes, you have posted frequently on politics. I'd rather read your take on the issues and your politician interviews than the rantings on other blogs.

Anonymous said...

Well done Alan.
Hope the caricature is not too bad.
TBSteve@flickr

John Self said...

Terrific news Alan - well done and well deserved!

Steve Salyards said...

Congratulations and well done. I always enjoy your writing and depend on your insights for some of the nuances in that part of the world. The honor is well deserved.

Peter said...

Fantastic, and congratulations!!!

mapgirl said...

Alan! So proud of you! This is wonderful! I came to your blog as an American doing a search on Belfast blogs, and I can truly say you changed my life!

I always appreciate the passion and information you bring to any issue, from culture to politics to family life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

All the best

Lori

Paul Robinson said...

Congrats.