Hello Iain,And now for my reply...
I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that your blog has lost most of it's punch. You're obviously devoting time to your other media work which means your blog is no longer a leader in it's field.
If there was any significant political news, I always looked to your blog for your very perceptive comments. Now the number of postings is much less and a high percentage of your blog is about your radio/TV appearances, Total Politics or surveys, rather than your views on events and news. Most days, you directed me to other interesting blogs through your Daily Dozen. I'd guess there have only been an average of 2 or 3 full Daily Dozens per month for quite a while.
I feel sad about, what is almost, the demise of probably the best UK political blog which, although slanted towards the Conservatives, was a reasonably independent voice.
I understand the change is probably driven by the need to earn money and I wish you all the best in the new direction of your career.
Thank you for taking the trouble to write. I agree with you that the last month has not been this blog's finest. Posts have indeed been less frequent, and also perhaps less interesting than normal. I am well aware that I have not been providing my normal level of service and the readership stats confirm this. Let me try to explain.
You understandably put it down to alternative media commitments. Actually, that's not so. I have done less TV and radio in the last month than any other month this year. Indeed, I have turned down more than I have accepted. However, I am running a business, and over the last month I have been heavily involved in setting up a new venture (which I will be telling you more about next week). We have also moved offices and run a conference. I am responsible for the employment of a dozen people and for running a profitable company. If you ask me which has to take priority - that or the blog, I am afraid I know which I must choose.
Blogging is by definition an up and down pastime. Every blogger goes through periods where they are on fire and others which are more fallow. Sometimes there are days when you simply have nothing to say. However, I have created a beast which demands feeding, and if it is not fed the right food it gets emails like yours. I do my best, but I do recognise that my efforts over the last month have not been up to scratch. But that should not provoke knee jerk accusations. I actually don't usually say much about my TV appearances on the blog - I use Twitter for that. And in 140 blog posts over the last month, I have mentioned Total Politics a grand total of six times, and two of those were where I reproduced my interviews with Alan Duncan and Jacqui Smith. Are they not of interest to readers? You are right to upbraid me about the lack of regularity of the Daley Dozen over the last month, although you exaggerate your case slightly. There have in fact been 9. The reason is not laziness, but it is dependent on me being in front of a computer late in the evening to compile it. The last month has been an unusual one in that this has not happened as often as usual, and to be honest there have been several evenings when I have got home and have been too bloody knackered to do it. On one occasion I actually fell asleep typing!
None of this is a result of what you call a desire to earn money. It is mainly because of having a day job, which at the moment is very demanding but also because from time to time I have been suffering from a lack of inspiration. Guido will tell you he goes through the same periods, as, I imagine, do most other bloggers.
But I promise to try to do better over the next few weeks!