By Jonathan Isaby
I am just catching up with the news from last night that my friend, Labour MP Tom Harris, has given up blogging.
"The blog has become a burden. It’s taking up too much time (though not as much as some might think – I am a very fast writer), it’s getting me into too many squabbles with people I have never met and are likely never to meet. And increasingly I’ve felt like I’m adopting stances simply for the sake of being confrontational and provoking a row.
"Basically, the bottom line: blogging is having a negative effect on my personal, family and political life for reasons too many and complicated to recount."
His was consistently my favourite Labour blog and the way in which he mixed high politics and low culture, and party politicking with regular provocative posts demonstrating an independence of mind – and all in a good-natured and good humoured way – made it a model for others to follow. He was also instrumental in taking the successful Save General Election Night campaign from the blogosphere into Parliament itself.
On a personal level I was sorry that Tom was unsuccessful in the Shadow Cabinet elections and that the new Labour leader the opted against using his talents on the frontbench, so with the demise of his blog, we will have to wait and see which outlets he uses for his views and campaigns. He has been a trenchant opponent of AV, for example, and I had been looking forward to seeing him continue to make the case for First Past The Post on the blog.
So although I'm sure we haven't heard the last of him, for now I salute him for his blogging over these last few years. The blogosphere will be a poorer place without you Tom.