Several bloggers have beaten us to announcing our own awards, but in our defence we were duty-bound to stay out until the hardcore bloggers finally went home!
The winners of the first Conservative blog awards, as voted by you, are:
Unfortunately but understandably, Cranmer ("owing to the lack of a corporeal state") and PragueTory (due to being in Prague) couldn't be there in person but statements were read out on their behalf (see below).
Thanks to all who came and filled out the bar, as with the conservative movement awards last year there was a genuinely friendly and positive atmosphere. Nadine Dorries even thanked the Whips Office for their daily encouragement.
Conservative bloggers need to communicate with eachother if we are to stay ahead of the curve. ConservativeHome will continue to encourage such communication - you can start by joining the "Conservative Bloggers" group on Facebook.
Update: We've put together a short 4 minute video of some of things attendees said about blogging, blogs the awards and ConservativeHome. Featuring, amongst others, regular CH commenters malcolm and Justin Hinchcliffe...
"His Grace apologises that he is not able to be with you in person, owing to the lack of a corporeal state. He is both honoured and humbled to have been voted ‘Best Anonymous Blog’ by the evidently discerning readers of ConservativeHome.Both in the pulpit and at the despatch box, it is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to articulate one’s views on sensitive issues without them being purposely misrepresented. Thus the church embraces ‘multi-faith’, or else it is bigoted; and politics embraces ‘multi-cultural’, or else it is ‘racist’.And to take a contrary view from the prevailing religio-political zeitgeist is to invite ridicule, isolation, and other forms of persecution.Those who insist that politics and religion should not mix understand neither religion nor politics. And in today’s world, it is naïve to assert that the one has nothing to do with the other.His Grace is proud to be (in this order) Christian, English and Conservative. He prays that the importance of the philosophy and foundations of all three might be rediscovered by the Conservative Party, and that a period of righteous government might begin in the UK in 2009."
"Unaccustomed as I am to winning awards, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few words from darkest Prague. Firstly, thanks to Tim & Sam of Conservative Home for running this excellent competition,
Secondly to Iain Dale and William Luckman of Croydonian whose work inspired me to start blogging. And finally thanks to those readers of Conservative Home who voted for me as Best Newcomer blog.
It’s been a great time to be involved with centre-right blogging. I believe that there’s a real sense of shared purpose in our community. We’ve all been so successful that even Conservative MPs are trying to prevent proper scrutiny of their activities in Parliament… but I digress.
My personal perspective is that the Praguetory website provides me with a stimulating way to bounce around ideas that are not necessarily given a platform in the mainstream media – and on a topical note, it’s never pointless to have a debate with fellow Conservatives about important policy issues.
But the potential impact of internet-based political activity in the UK is, I’m sure, far greater than we have already seen. I believe that we can successfully challenge the existing consensus. Let’s aim to be advocates for and leaders of the next generation of British voters.
As right-minded thinkers we can not and should not accept the cronyism and incompetence of the Labour government. We can build something better and have fun in the process."