With just 11 hours of 2011to go, I thought I’d give you a flavour of my year. It’s had huge highs and horrible, horrible painful lows.
Now, we have enough notice of when the year’s going to end. Maybe next year, I’ll have the end of year post pretty much in the can by the beginning of December and not rush to complete it at the last minute. Yeah, sure that’ll happen.
Let’s get the horrendous bits out of the way first.
Heartbreak and Big Girls Do Cry written the day after the worst election night ever. And this is my analysis of how those pesky Nats pulled of their overall majority.
But then if we thought that was the worst thing that was going to happen in 2011, we were sadly mistaken. Just 4 weeks later, came shock and deep sadness when we lost our friend and Campaigns Director Andrew Reeves. The First Day without Andrew Reeves was a post that was incredibly painful to write and if there are typos in it, they lie uncorrected as I still can’t get all the way through reading it.
The start of the year was all about the election and the run up to it. Themes that continue, though, and will be debated in the year ahead, are the shockingly bad idea of merging all Scotland’s police forces.
There was a brief lull in preparations for Andrew and Roger’s wedding.
I like to take on the Daily Fail when I can – and they got it badly wrong in domestic violence in January.
Bill Aitken showed misogyny was alive and well in the Tory Party.
If you have a pet rabbit, you may one day have cause to be grateful to me for telling you how to dose one.
When Dave found his Dog Whistle, I was there to report it – and the differences between the PM and his deputy.
It was good to have been at a hustings, for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, where everyone performed well.
2011 was the year I branched out into other media. In March, I went on Callum Leslie’s Freshair radio show. and later on did two lots of Radio Scotland interviews, one in the immediate aftermath of the election and another when Willie became leader. I also wrote for a proper grown up paper too, as well as Liberator magazine.
After the election it was time for a rebuild. We had a nice shiny new leader and the papers said nice things about him. The party talked – and listened to wise people like sadly former MSP Robert Brown. We fought a parliamentary by-election with a fabulous candidate, Sophie Bridger, who played a blinder in the tv debates getting the Tory to admit we’d made the UK Government fairer. By the end of the year, we were back to winning ways. That’s a lesson to all our candidates in the Council elections – where we work, we win, so get out on those doorsteps.
The things I was concerned about most during 2011 were welfare reform, specifically Employment and Support Allowance. I really want the Government to change the time limit aspect and their silly plans for cancer sufferers. I spoke to a fringe meeting at our conference on the subject and was “insulted” by no less a person than the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Government’s consultation on Equal Marriage took place and I was really proud that our leader enthusiastically supported the idea as a fundamental issue of liberalism. I had some advice for our MPs and leaders, too – give us some passion, not just common sense and not letting anyone put us in the corner.
Personally and family wise, we hit some milestones. Bob turned 60. my baby started High School, my lovely sister cycled all the way from Land’s End to John o’Groats, we went to London and saw Wicked and daleks and Buckingham Palace. Anna sang at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow along with 700 other kids to celebrate NYCOS’s 15th anniversary.
I’m hopefully going to beat last year’s record out put of 703 blogposts, only just and I’ll look forward to keeping this going through 2012.