And…It’s Goodbye From Him

I will no longer be keeping an eye on the Czar of Russia.
There will be no more updates to this Blog.
This Blog had been one of the most interesting things that I have done in my (later) life.
Starting in August 2011…I could actually sign in and find that the previous day, the Blog had been viewed by NOBODY.
Thanks to a few people…notably Mick at Slugger O’ Toole, the Blog started getting viewed.
The best month was June 2013….when I got over 20,000 views. Success brings its own set of problems. Writing a Blog and knowing Nobody will see it is totally different from writing a Blog knowing that it will be seen by a scary number of people.
I have always believed that a Blog is about two things. The original post and the comments made in response to that original post. The success therefore owes a lot to the people that have contributed.
I have discouraged animosity….no “Stoops”, no “Shinner” abuse. And of course never any Alliance voice. They are over-represented in the gerrymandered Executive so Hell will freeze over before I have them here.

Increasingly some things have bothered me.
I have always promoted SDLP values here…but earned some kudos for being independently minded. Indeed its very difficult to run a Blog and be a member of a political party.
I have at times of this Blog been an actual member. At other times just “gene pool” SDLP.
At one level, its important to be credible for a wider audience. At another its difficult to be in a room with people who might be uncomfortable with a blogger in the room.
The great difference is that a political anorak ANALYSES things…and GUESSES things. But a Party member can somehow KNOW things.
And thats a big difference.
The more a Party Member “knows” the “less” he can Blog.
And there is always the temptation which Ive hopefully avoided of “spinning”.
There has been a certain amount of fun in being FitzjamesHorse.
A certain amount of fun to be had in standing next to exchanging a few pleasantries with an Alliance politican at the Dunadry Inn, the day after I have argued with her on Slugger. Or being pleasant to an Alliance member at a sandwich bar in the Hi-Park Centre and knowing that a few weeks before he had told me on Slugger that I was “Brian Feeney”.
The whole SDLP thing on Slugger came about entirely by accident.
There are few SDLP voices there….I dont blame them Mick….and it fell to me, originally with a sense of fairness and later commitment to defend the SDLP case.
Being an anonymous blogger…it was never really going to last.
There is something about me which is a bit Wizard of Oz. An old man hiding behind a screen is actually a bit of a disappointment.
And the old man hiding behind the computer screen is also a bit of a disappointment to people.
What were they expecting? A dashing 18th century cavalry officer?
Thats All Folks!

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37 Responses to And…It’s Goodbye From Him

  1. pippakin says:

    Why would they expect anything. Enjoyed the blog FJH I hope you did too, particularly when you got your bus pass we have to wait longer for ours.

  2. RJC says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blog a lot FJH, and as a newcomer to this part of Ireland it helped open my eyes to one or two things. Hope we haven’t heard the last from you.

  3. Derek says:

    Sorry to see you go. Hopefully we’ll still see you round the comments sections of other blogs.
    So here’s wishing you all the best and a big thanks for the insights. I’ve enjoyed your efforts and learned a thing or too as well.

  4. mjh says:

    I have never commented here before but could not let the occassion pass without saying thank you. I have enjoyed reading you even when (sometimes especially when) I most disagreed with you.

    I understand your reasons for giving up political blogging, but hope that we might continue to read your non-politcal pieces in some other place. They are often a rare combination of fine writing and real humanity.

    • Thank you MJH.
      II have enjoyed but ultimately the Internet is about cute kittens.
      Political Discourse has become cheap and nasty. And I think we will all pay a price for that.
      We have a government of Paraders and Paramilitaries and Alliance Parasites.
      We get what we deserve.
      It is not sustainable.
      In a post 1998 world, there was a degree of Hope and we could contribute.
      i am without Hope for political future. Any contribution is a contribution to disaster.
      better to play with the grandchildren and prolong their childhood as long as possible. But I have no doubts that their childhood will be disrupted by more of the same thing that affected so many before them.

  5. Billy Pilgrim says:

    I’ve comment here all too rarely, but I just wanted to add my thanks to you, FJH, for what has been a wonderful blog. I shall genuinely miss it.

    Good luck in the future. And thank-you for fighting the good fight.

  6. boondock says:

    Sorry to hear you are finishing the blogging always enjoyed your posts at least you will have more time to watch the football!

    • Actually…this is true. #1 Grandson is fast approaching his 11th birthday…and its a kinda golden age.
      his 6 year old brother knows very little (obviously) but somehow #1 has superb knowledge of the players. Lovely watching the Football with (often) two sons and grandsons.

  7. Very sorry to see you close the blog, FJH, as well as cutting down on your online activities. I can honestly say that your presence will be missed. There are few enough of us, to borrow Billy’s phrase, fighting the good fight. For the last decade the norm was for Republicans and Nationalists to yield the field of public discourse to Unionists and Unionist-apologists of one sort or another. They controlled the old media in Ireland and for a time all but controlled the new media. Sites like your own, Bangordub’s and several others are little pockets of resistance to the agreed narrative of, as you say, the overclass.

    Wish you the best of luck in the future. And if you get any “insider” gossip that you feel like sharing… 😉

    Slán go fóill! 🙂

    • Go raibh maith agat a chara.
      Time for someone else to step up to the plate and confront, letsgetalonerists, the Overclass and the MetroTextuals.
      At least if I have accomplished nothing else, I got to invent some words.
      There are like you say pockets of resistance and I hope I have highlighted those things that unite nationalists/republicans and socialists more than divide us.
      letsGetAlongerists have gone unchallenged too long. Hiding a basicaly unionist agenda under a coat of Moral Superiority.
      As much as the Proclamation of 1916 declared that our divisions were carefully fostered….the LetsGetalongerists continue to do so.
      They are the REAL ENEMY…making Unionism palatable.

  8. factual says:

    I realise that I was perhaps – at times – an annoying poster. But I gradually came to understand your rules and tried to stick to them.

    I really enjoyed your blog and I learned a lot from you. You write with a lot of honesty, and you say things that are quite original, rather than just repeating what others are saying.

    Your whole analysis of getalongerism is very interesting and something unique to this blog.

    I would like to wish you all the best.

    • Thank you for that.
      One of the things Im proud of is that Ive actually seen you mature as an analyst.
      I was hard on you.
      But only because you were capable of so much better.
      There is a good fight to be fought for Nationalism, Republicanism and Socialism.
      I urge you to be a part of that.

  9. Theresa says:

    Thank you for your blog, Fitz. I will miss it and miss your interesting and amusing take on things. It has been really enjoyable. However, all good things must come to an end. I do understand your reasons for moving on but will feel lost for a while.

    I’m sure you will still find some time in your busy life to comment elsewhere. I believe you also tweet. I don’t but must try to find your twitter account to read your brief thoughts.

    We may have heard the last of you on this blog, but I don’t believe we have actually heard the last of you elsewhere.

    May I wish you success with all future endeavours. I really would have liked to have met you as I do believe you would be an interesting person to have a conversation with.

    May you fare well in all that you do.

    • Thank you Theresa.
      I do have a Twitter account but will likely wind it up soon. A man like me cant be limited o 140 characters. I dont think that I will be blogging or commenting again.
      Its back to the mundane world of Toy Soldiers and Irish Stamps.
      Good luck in the Referendum.
      nationalism is not just an Irish thing.

      • Theresa says:

        Mr Fitz, you may not be able to say a lot with just 140 characters but what you say will still be insightful, I am sure. Nationalism is not just and Irish thing as you say. At this moment in time I do not know how the referendum will turn out. It is difficult when we have a unionist media. The SNP cannot do it alone and are aware of this. However groups such as Labour for Independence, Trade Unionists for Indy, Republican Independence movement, Businesses for independence are out there working jointly with the elected Indpendence minded parties to try to get a yes vote. The undecided are the ones we need to persuade. The quest for independence will never go away in the event of a ‘no’ vote. LIke a boil, it will continue to fester till it eventually burst. If we lose we must remember that it is better to fail at something that will ultimately succeed than to succeed at something that will ultimately fail.

        Good Luck in all that you do.

  10. Fear Feirsteach says:

    I could never figure out what a Jacobite like yourself was doing keeping an eye on the Czar of Russia anyway. Tis no wonder the Hanoverians got a free run. I’ve enjoyed your insights and analyses and am sorry they’re coming to an end. You’ve a lot to offer the ‘blogosphere’ – in time I’ll hope you’ll come to reconsider. Go raibh maith agat agus ádh mór ort a chara.

    • Go raibh maith agat a chara.
      “Fitzjames Horse” has been on various message boards for more than a decade.
      I was on History sites before I was on Politics sites but I like the consistency of one name.
      I am not actually a Jacobite…A republican in Real jacobite (they havent gone away you know) eyes is actually a follower of Satan. I will,I am assured go to Hell for being a republican.
      My interest in jacobitism is just historic.

  11. kilclunylooney says:

    Ah well, all good things must come to an end, I’ve enjoyed my daily click to see if you had posted.
    You can rest on your laurels and your MBE, Paul 🙂

  12. bangordub says:

    I cannot let this pass without comment, despite resolving otherwise as you know.
    You are a cantankerous curmudgeon as you well know. You delight in upsetting applecarts, disturbing the peacefulness of Letsgetalongerists and Alliance types as well as generally challenging cosy consensus wherever you find it the right thing to do.
    Above all you are honest.
    It is a rare thing to be able to say you have made a difference. I can say that from my own perspective as a certainty.
    I somehow doubt you will completely disappear. I think it would be a loss were you to do so and I think “events” may give you pause to reconsider.
    A lot may happen in the next few weeks and, like many of us, you may find things do not twist as we expect or anticipate.
    Anyhow, there is an open invitation should you wish to do the odd guest blog on my own site.
    The success of this site certainly influenced my own decision to join the “bloggeratti”.
    Thank You.

    • Thank you Mr Dub.
      We have talked about this before of course.
      I reckoned if I did not do it this morning, Id just keep procrastinating.
      Cant actually resign from Slugger as such…but Mick has kindly changed the settings so that I cant get access there and be tempted back.
      There will be a period of Cold Turkey but I will immerse myself in grandchildren, football, toy soldiers etc.
      Was thinking earlier today that. I have never been far from a History Book in over fifty years.
      Time I just chilled out.
      Fight the Fight.

  13. Good bye Jean, it was good reading your very accurate analysis

  14. play it again says:

    Came to you late in life but enjoyed every minute. Sorry to see you go but all good things come to an end.
    Take care

  15. Sad to see that your blog has come to an end, i found it was one one of the best ones around, hopefully you will take up bangordubs offer of the odd guest post, best of luck in the future

  16. MPG ..... says:

    Never say never…………….
    I’ll wager that you wont be able to abstain and you will be very welcome back when the time comes!!!!!

  17. Charming Man says:

    FJM you will be sorely missed, enjoy your retirement. Please take solace in the fact that you have been an inspiration to many prototype CNR bloggers

  18. Look forward to chatting at events and conferences – and hearing your take on events in a real live blog post. Best wishes. And feel free to change your mind!

    • Thanks Alan.
      I have a certain Blog Fatigue at the moment. And need to re-calibrate. I have lost my Blogging MOJO and rather like Austin Powers had help from the charming Felicity Shagwell…I need to re-discover it before venturing back full time.
      The dangers of being a Blogger who is suffering fatigue was amply illustrated last week by Mr Iain Dale. Id hate to get involved in an unseemly brawl with Granni Trixie or Sammy Morse.
      Looking forward to seeing you also.

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