For those waiting on results last night, I’m sorry for the late arrival of this post (behind the MSM for once, must be getting old or middle aged or something)… Martin McGuinness won best politician of the year. Although he only received one nomination in the comments zone, both the readers panel and the judging panel felt that the moment when he stood with Hugh Orde and Peter Robinson on the steps of Stormont after the Masserene and Craigavon killings was the one moment in the year when the need for political courage was both required and fulfilled. (Davy Sims’ podcast for good interviews and honourable of Ulster is Doomed, 1169 and Counting and other). UTV Report gives a strong flavour of the night…Up and coming politician: Simon Hamilton, bright and literate and very good communicator… Tipped by one voice on the judging committee as future MP material…
Blogger of the Year: Alan In Belfast… Another non political blogger who nevertheless went the extra mile at the European election campaign and has been showing a few of us middle-aged old stagers a thing or two about holding the system to account..
Councillor of the Year: Cara McShane youngest ever chair of Moyle District Council she is an example of next generation of young councillors coming through
MLA of the Year: Dawn Purvis MLA her party’s lone MLA, she’s been a tough campaigner on issues like abortion (where there is a general omerta is almost (with exception of Alliance) total in the other mainstream political parties
Local Council of the year: Down District… For an impressive redevelopment programme in Newcastle and an ongoing project in Killough not simply for the results, but the quality of the consultation process it’s used in getting to that destination.
Campaign of the year: Employers for Childcare Vouchers campaign… A quickly assembled response to Gordon Brown’s plans to cut childcare vouchers category is a new one which incorporate a poll
Participation and Involvement: Public Achievement… For its successful WIMPS project working to get young people to engage directly with the Assembly and its institutions. Also for its lobbying to establish a permanent Youth Assembly.
Journalist of the Year: Julia Paul… journalist whose impacts are often underated by her audience precisely because of her capacity to deliver tight informative stories on complex issue in a way that that makes it easy for the audience…
Stormont Committee Chair: Fred Cobain MLA Can’t put it better it than this, by the commenter NI Water: Loved by his committee for being fair to them, hated by officials for being tenatious in questioning, he gets the mix right.
And thanks too to the Italian blogger who was there last night… who scooped pretty much everyone else…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty