Friday, 31 December 2010

The 2010 Stodgies...

Yes, folks, it's time for the last and least significant awards ceremony as the great and good are gathering for the 2010 Stodgies, my awards for the deserving and not-so-deserving of the past twelve months and with it believing an election year AND a World Cup failure year, the quality and quantity of nominees has been well uip to standard.

So here we go...

Song of the Year: Not a vintage year musically for me. I'm looking forward to listening to Bryan Ferry's new album "Olympia" but as far as pop singles go, the fivesome of Take That with "The Flood" are a late runner but the overall winner for me is the infectiously catchy "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga so step forward for your prize.

Word of The Year: This is an easy one because although "Kindle" gets on to the short-list, the winner is "Coalition" which I don't find easy to type but which has been the defining development of the year.

Analyst of the Year: In a year when the election and its aftermath wrongfooted many of the finest pundits and commentators, I've gone for Simon Jenkins who writes in the Evening Standard and The Guardian among others. His critique of Coalition policies, particularly regarding the Cameronian "Big Society" has been far more thoughtful and incisive than most of what the anti-Coalition forces have produced since the election. I look forward to reading more from him in 2011.

Read of the Year: Two very close runners fighting out this one - the new "I+" newspaper from the Independent has been very good and is great value at just 20p but I just tip this one to The Economist which provides an international perspective sadly absent from much of the British media.

Bet of the Year: I enjoy spotting novice hurdle winners at Lingfield and Nick Gifford's No Turn paid a few pre-Christmas expenses at 14s.

International Person of the Year: A particularly weak field this year suggesting this hasn't been the best year for the world in general. Aung Saan Syu Kyi would be a well-deserved winner given her incredible dignity during her years of house arrest but I can't deny the resurgence of Russia and it has to be Vladimir Putin who gets the nod.

International Numpty of the Year: A packed field as always but having got on to the podium last year, the FoxNews analyst Glenn Beck gets the vote. I can't decide if he's a doom-monger or an evangelist. He wraps the American Constitution round himself and seems to claim to have exclusivity in its interpretation. His coverage of overseas stories is used solely to bolster his own increasingly irrational arguments.

Blogger of the Year: No individual wins this but I'm a ban of the Netweather Forum which contains some serious weather experts and I read them to improve my own knowledge.

British Numpty of the Year: A packed field as always and more so with an election to digest. The winners this year aren't individuals but newspapers and this less-than-prestiguous award goes jointly to the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail whose sour grapes over the election result and the formation of the Coalition has both pushed the former down some very dark paths in the name of investigative journalism but has made the latter a pleasure to read as it performs its weekly contortions in which Amanda Platell is a particular joy.

Person of the Year: As always, the final three in reverse order:

3. Matt Smith -I thought David Tennant would be an impossible act to follow as Doctor Who but Smith has been superb. He's taken out some of the humour and made the character more "alien" - less action hero and more troubled enigma. I'd like to see the current Doctor brought back more into the Tennant continuum and I'm far from sold on the Amy Pond character but Matt Smith has done well.

2. David Cameron - I've been a critic of Cameron's ever since he became Conservative leader in 2005 and I thought he would rather try and lead a minority Government than try to reach a deal with the Liberal Democrats but his speech on the afternoon after the election transformed the political landscape and may have been the most significant moment since the death of John Smith in 1994. Cameron showed political courage and acumen that afternoon and has made a sound start as Prime Minister.

1. Nick Clegg - I've absolutely no hesitation in giving the top award to the Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader. When I voted for him over Chris Huhne in 2007, I thought he was made of sterner stuff then seemed evident. Like all Liberal Democrat leaders, he has been tested in the fire and come out immeasurably stronger.

The election debate was a game-changer and for a moment, the possibility of something greater loomed but it didn't happen this time and despite the obvious fatigue and disappointment, Nick comported himself in the immediate aftermath of the election with skill throwing the challenge down to David Cameron and then working with the Conservatives to form a new Government.

It's not perfect but it's starting to work well and while some in the party are still struggling to come to terms with what has happened and the tuition fees issue was a nasty boil which needed to be lanced publically, the future, despite the current poll numbers, looks surprisingly bright.

The Conservatives are and will be changed by the experience of Coalition and IF the AV referendum can be passed next year as a step on the road to STV, the future of elections will be changed too. It's been a real rollercoaster year for Nick Clegg and he deserves a break with his family in Spain. He also deserves the accolade of "Person of the Year"

Finally, New Year greetings from me to whoever you are and wherever you are reading this.


Dioclese said...

Interesting opinions of Cameron and Clegg. Like you I was impressed by that shrt statement he made offering a deal to Clegg and I reckon Clegg displayed cosiderable balls accepting it!

I still think they are a good team and that each tempers the worst excesses of the other's party.

Roll on May when we can get the voting system changed and banish the two party system to the dustbin of history where it belongs!

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- David