Liberal Conspiracy is kind-of shutting down but not quite after eight long years. It’s a good moment to say thanks to Sunny Hundal, one of blogging’s big successes, and explain why it is I think he was (and is) such an important figure in left blogging. Here are the reasons I’ll miss him. (This sounds a bit like an obituary but I’m assured he’s very much still alive).
- He gave me a chance. You can wait a bloody long time as a blogger for someone to give you the slightest chance to write, especially if you’re a bit outre or annoying (as I was and am). It’s really important that the bigger players give the little people a chance to get a wider audience and develop their writing.
- He took on the Right. So many on the left are so keen to be polite, do things the right way, not stoop to ‘their level’ and so on… Sunny just hit the bastards back. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste but I, for one, was glad there was someone out there who would actually use the tactics of the Right against them. One such thing was lumping all sorts of folk together as ‘the Right’ and taking aim. Not everyone agreed; I enjoyed it.
- He kept going. A lot of left bloggers get absorbed into the commentariat, which while being lucrative and enjoyable, blunts their effectiveness and sees the thing they did best slowly dissipate. Sunny still managed to be himself even once he’d appeared on telly a few times.
- He had good advice for blogging. Keep it short and simple; don’t ramble too much. Make your points and leave the debate to the comments. Good general advice for us all, even if I still can’t stick to it today.
- He didn’t strike me as a hand wringer. It takes a lot of mental fortitude to be attacked by the left and right pretty much all the time, to be regularly called Scumdal and just block and get on with it. Sunny took it all with good grace and humour.
- He always had time to reply to an email. That’s something pretty important. You’d be surprised how many people in writing and blogging don’t. (I’m one of the worst offenders, in case you were wondering).
- When he did eventually turn up on TV, he didn’t go full commentariat. Always gave the impression of ‘actually wanting to put across an honestly felt opinion’ rather than ‘wanting to say something divisive and controversial so I can get invited back’.
- He bought me a pint once. And, you know, I’ll get him one back one day. In the meantime, there’s this.