Seems to be a plethora of blog awards and ranking lists of late - inspired by top blogger, Iain Dale. No 3 son, Tim has recently installed a system of Google Alerts, which informs me when this blog gets a mention - as well as when its 'slagged off' elsewhere in the blogosphere. It may be childish, but I have to admit that I'm always rather pleased when A View from Rural Wales makes it into the minor placings. But today, things moved on a bit. I read on the must-read blog of Peter Black, the possible Lib Dem challenger for Mike German's position as Leader in the Assembly, that he was 'flattered' to come 2nd on a list where this blog was placed first. Well actually, Peter's blog was placed 90th, while this blog was placed 78th in Iain Dale's top 500 blogs. It seems we were the first two blogs based in Wales. I'm not sure that being placed 78th on a list is just cause for celebration though!
One of the factors in assessing positions in these lists is traffic flows. And one of the ways to increase traffic is to be controversial- but since I ask myself each morning what I'm going to do that day to promote the Conservative Party cause, I cannot risk being too controversial. I've already had more that one warning from Cheryl Gillan, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales to watch what I post. She tells me that Gordon Brown's army of political advisors arewatching. I do try to be careful, but the problem is that I usually blog late in the evening, often after a glass or three of Sancerre. I have introduced a rule which requires that I read through each post as often as the number of units that I've consumed. So far, its proven to be a system that works tolerably well.
But I fear the awareness of the need for discipline has been ratcheted up. Last night, I shared dinner with 'The Chief'. This is the name that all Conservative MPs use to address the Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin, their Chief Whip in the House of Commons. I wasn't sure whether to address him as Patrick (which might be seen as disrespectful) or as 'Chief' (which might be seen as presumptuous). I do hope that the climate of fear and menace which naturally envelopes the chief whip of every party hasn't inculcated this blog with a degree of anodyne-ness which in turn leads to such a collapse in traffic flow that I fail to retain my newly acquired eminence in the Welsh blogosphere.