I know, I know: did any contributors get advance notice? Was there some kind of last gathering, for us all to reminisce about past times? And the answer is no and no: the decision to say goodbye to Liberal Conspiracy was taken by Sunny Hundal alone: it was his baby, and his call. It was sad news for me and many others, but not a surprise: Sunny is a busy man nowadays, and fair play to him.
Few group blogs manage to combine a cutting edge and that ability to hold power to account with genuine independence and freedom from political, or any other form of, interference. Liberal Conspiracy was one such blog. I’m not exaggerating here. The list of stories in which it played a role on the field of play, rather than just looking on from the stands, speaks for itself.
With Sunny’s announcement, many on the right will feel relieved, not least the Tory Party, and specifically (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries and her bestest pals at the Guido Fawkes blog, who may pretend to be of independent mind, but are, as any fule kno, in hock to those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet. The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines is just another sellout.
Many people got Liberal Conspiracy all wrong: there were no editorial meetings, no to and fro to see other contributors, no support staff. Sunny held everything together by himself, and for that he deserves the heartfelt thanks of all who have featured there. Many past contributors have gone on to greater things, not least Owen Jones, Laurie Penny and the highly sound Adam Bienkov.
What folks also get wrong about Liberal Conspiracy is that it was never pushing one political point of view. This was a very broad church: Labour and Lib Dem supporters were represented, as well of those independent of party like me (I know that there have been attempts to paint me as Labour, Union or other Left linked or funded, but all have foundered on the rock of inconvenient fact).
And what some, especially on the right, don’t get is that Liberal Conspiracy has built great loyalty among those who have been given a chance by Sunny. To demonstrate this I can’t do better than point the still unconvinced to Steve Baxter’s “In Praise Of Sunny” post this morning. The right snipes and sneers at Sunny, but he’s a genuinely decent and sound bloke. That still means something to some of us.
What of the future? Well, Zelo Street will not be missing a beat. Liberal Conspiracy has helped me enormously, but life goes on. Sunny Hundal and I have lived in interesting times together, and, who knows, we may do again in the future.
And let us hope it is merely Au Revoir, and not Adieu. Thanks again Sunny, and it’s my shout next time.