Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nightjack Wins the Orwell Blog Prize

Well, I have continued my record of never having won anything in my life, beyond a few £50 premium bonds! At the Orwell prize last night, the blog prize went to the Nightjack blog. He's real life police detective and writes an excellent blog about police matters, although he often strays wider than that. Because he writes anonymously, he couldn't be there, but it was good to see Andrew Sparrow, Alix Mortimer and Chekhov from Three Thousand Versts of Loneliness.

When you are nominated for an award and they're just about to announce the winner, you are very conscious of people looking at you to gauge your reaction if you don't win. If you smile too much you know people will be thinking you're putting on a brave face, yet if you don't people think you're a bad loser. So I made sure I stood right at the back of the room, out of sight!

As my mother always told me, it's not the winning that matters, it's the taking part. Of course, she was talking bollocks. What's the point of taking part unless you'd like to win?!

No doubt it will have given certain people huge pleasure that I didn't win, but actually, any of the six blogs would have been a worthy winner in my view, and I repeat the sincere congratulations I offered to Nightjack last night. His blog illustrates the variety and quality that exists in the British political blogosphere. And it is a mark of the man that he has donated his winnings to a Police Benevolent Fund. Good on him.

21 comments:

apricotfox said...

Interesting rationale for the sleection...'closest in spirit to Orwell's diaries' and with evidence of a literary style in the writing..Your purpose in blogging ( and that of Guido) is subtly different from the original notion of a web journal, isn't it? You have achieved cult status...a great (the highest?)accolade in itself!

Old Holborn said...

Whilst you twitter and ramble on about Cliff Richard, Nightjack anonymously gave the decent folk a stunning guide on how to deal with the modern Police.

The least you could do is link to his winning post I see the irony that the GEORGE ORWELL prize has been given to an anonymously (and subsequently closed) Policemans blog is totally lost on you

Events dear boy, events said...

In a way you have won. It is because of your impact that the political blogosphere has such an influence today.

Keep up the good work.

Dave H said...

Can the Orwell Blog Prize be awarded posthumously? Nightjack stopped blogging a couple of weeks ago.

It wasn't amongst the reasons he gave, but I can't help thinking he had been identified at work and was warned off publicly expressing his thoughts by his superiors.

If so, they made a bloody stupid mistake. At a time when the police/mop relationship has turned rather sour, to have an elegantly-written report from the kind of coal face most of us can't even imagine is precisely what the police need to restore confidence.

Half The Story said...

This fella has to be a contender for next year.

http://winstonsmith33.blogspot.com/

Dick the Prick said...

Ah, you've gotta be in it to win it. You doing a Winslet would have been youtubed just out of principle.

jailhouselawyer said...

I think there is a clear difference between Nightjack and Iain Dale's Diary. The former is literature and the latter is simply stringing words together to make sentences but losing something in the translation.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

The Orwellians have gone for a niche blog. I notice that one or two of the others show literary merits, but the truth is, this stuff is very ephemeral so why bother to be Joseph Conrad?

Nightjack may have won it, but he is gone, and everything he has ever written will be forgotten, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day, and soon. The twitterings of any anonymous blogger doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. They key to blogging is building up a rapport with readers, and the proof of the pudding is in the stats.

Scary Mary said...

Nightjack is easily the best blog I read when it comes to knowledge of subject matter, lack of ego and really interesting posts. A worthy winner.

Bill Quango MP said...

At least it went to Nightjack. A very readable, entertaining, infuriating and sometimes grim blog.

{I voted for slumdog millionaire}

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

Internet Blogging could really evolve in this election campaign.

Womble On Tour said...

Well said, Iain, and well done for getting as far as the nominations list.

Martin Day said...

Labour have put up a redistributive tax on Incomes above £150,000 a year. But the poor will not get a penny of this taxation on the rich! The Labour tax rise will instead pay for government debt interest that is a consequence of Labour's economic failure. Labour are in effect taxing the "Rich" and redistributing it to the rich non-British tax payer in the form of Gilt Interest!

Labour economic policy seems to have decamped to the Mad House!

Paul Burgin said...

"When you are nominated for an award and they're just about to announce the winner, you are very conscious of people looking at you to gauge your reaction if you don't win. If you smile too much you know people will be thinking you're putting on a brave face, yet if you don't people think you're a bad loser. So I made sure I stood right at the back of the room, out of sight!"

Just as well then that you never took up acting and ended up getting nominated for an Oscar! ;-) Always thought those close up box scenes were sadistic

James Higham said...

Keep at it, Iain.

sunonmars said...

I knew they’d go for this year, October Election?

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/47126,news,darlings-slip-of-the-tongue-gets-heads-wagging

Does Alistair Darling know something we don’t – or was it just a slip of the tongue? Appearing on the BBC Radio Today programme this morning to defend yesterday’s “class war” Budget, the Chancellor answered a typically convoluted question from Evan Davis with this: “Well I hope if I’m around in 2010 – I mean, er 2013 – we’ll see…”

Which has conspiracy theorists scratching their heads because it certainly doesn’t sound like a Chancellor who’s confident of being in office for next April’s Budget! And it supports a theory that’s been doing the rounds – that Gordon Brown might still call an election this October rather than waiting until May.

One Westminster spinmeister put it like this to The Mole: “It sounds mad, but think about it: the big danger for Brown in this Budget is that it promises jam next year; in other words, the economy will have to be recovering if he is to win a general election in May 2010. However, if he chose to go to the country this autumn, it would mean he could still be promising that the recovery is just around the corner.”

Conand said...

Congratulations to Jack Night, the Anonymous Police Blogs are excellent.
For those who don't know, the posts on the Police Blogs are consolidated on to one Blog site here: PlanetPolice

subrosa said...

You're a gentleman Iain because only gentlemen are gracious in defeat.

sunonmars said...

Brown and Darling are not going to risk doing another Budget next year that will really be a complete mess. Think about it, If Brown calls an election for next May or June and has to deliver an absolute shocker of a budget then they are screwed.

However they did the dumping of the crap now, 5/6 months for the public to digest and have the election in Sept/Oct, then when they lose come the next Budget, its on Osborne to drop the real real shi$.

This was the election budget designed to saddle the Tories with the crap.

Philipa said...

commiserations, Iain :-(

I see Patrick Cockburn won the journalism prize. Isn't he the brother of Alexander Cockburn? The same Alex Cockburn who wrote something like 'many’s the time male friends have had to push Hitchens’s mouth away during hellos and goodbyes'? But Hitchens said he couldn't remember 'making a bid for the clean-limbed and cupid-lipped Alexander Cockburn'. Or something like that.

I can't remember the quote exactly but I've no doubt Hitchens will remain tight-lipped. Or should that be cupid-lipped? Hmm.

Morus said...

Congratulations to Nightjack, and all who were shortlisted!

The only other person I can remember giving it all away to the Police Benevolent Fund was Burglar Bill, so he joins great literary company!