Just found this out. I have to say something. After all Iain Dale is one of the reasons I started blogging. Until a year or two ago, Iain Dale's Diary was a must read. The rot set in long before he diversified into Total Politics and Biteback Publishing. The rot set in when he wanted to become an MP. As Tom Harris found out, unless you are a slavering toady, Central Office looks without sympathy at your witterings. It may have been a factor in Iain's failure to become the chosen candidate.
I had been reading Dale for at least as long as this blog has been running, and commenting almost on a daily basis. I occasionally got into the Daley Dozen and did a guest post on the blog. It boosted my blog considerably.
Sadly, and for at least 18 months, the blog has meandered downhill. Too many arses to lick is the usual real reason that high profile bloggers give up; they simply don't have anyone they dare slag off. His eye was certainly off the ball for most of that time and the posts had a depressing tendency to focus on the arcane machinery of Tory apparatus. When he did do something interesting or controversial it was the wrong thing. What finished it for me was his extraordinary support for Phil Woolas, to the extent that Dale publicly pledged £100 to the Woolas appeal fund. I have not commented on the blog since, and only visited it a couple of times. It was a long time coming, because the blog was by that time a puff platform for Iain Dale plc.
The strength of the Iain Dale blog was the man's evident humanity and normalness. He reacted to events as many of us did and was able to put his finger on the pulse of silent Britain and give a fair diagnosis. This facility went out long ago, victim to his other commitments, his TV appearances, his radio show, etc.
The end was nigh long ago. Iain Dale has got what he wanted. He is a member of the establishment. Iain Dale's Diary, in any meaningful sense is dead. Long live Guido.