MICK HARTLEY: Normblog at ten


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Mick Hartley

[This first appeared on Mick Hartley’s blog]

Just a note to celebrate Norm's first decade of blogging.

He is I think, for certain sections of the UK blogosphere, something of a godfather. He is to me, at any rate. I corresponded with Norm before I ever put keyboard to blog, and he was kind enough to mention me once I'd started. That was back in the days of Iraq and the Euston Manifesto. A lot of water—an ocean of water—has flowed under all kinds of bridges since then, but here we still are, and I'm still, I'm happy to say, in almost total agreement with what he has to say.

Normblog also provides some kind of object lesson in how to mix up the posts, so that—gradually—some kind of portrait emerges of the man behind it all. There's the cricket, of course—an enthusiasm I don't fully share, admittedly, though I'm sufficiently au fait to appreciate the references – and there's the Country Music (Emmylou Harris notably, and who could argue). And then there are the novels. Norm, now he's retired, seems to have an extraordinary enthusiasm for the reading of fiction which I can only envy—and his recommendations are pretty damn good too. No doubt it helps to have both wife and daughter as successful writers.

But the core of Normblog is still the astute political analysis. So much to choose from, but just from the last week there's this excellent piece on Michael Rosen which, in the calmest most matter-of-fact way, and without resorting to any overblown rhetoric (not Norm's style at all)  just takes the poor man apart. There's no coming back from that.

So—here's to the next Normblog decade.