I have seen the Future…and I dont really like it. So I dont want to work for it. And I am too tired to work against it.
It might be sixteen years ago since I saw a BBC journalist touring USA as part of reporting the 2000 Election campaign. It was suggested that the new-fangled Internet would change Politics for ever. It has….it has changed it for the worse.
Donald Trump would not have been possible without the Internet. And Brexit (thankfully) would not have been possible without the Internet.
Like William Caxton’s printing press, it changes the nature of Discourse. Cheapens it. The politics of Facebook. The politics of the Hashtag. The politics of the Blog. There is a lot of fun in being a wee, old, fat man with an ipad. If I was ever right about one thing, it was the title of this Blog…Keeping an Eye on the Czar of Russia is exactly what I have been doing.
It started out on 11th August 2011 as an alternative to blogging. But somehow it became serious with occasional quirkiness. A Blog only rises above the level of a “Journal” when people read it…comment. And in a strange way, it is the “commenters” who forced the Blog to become more serious. …more (dare I say it) “responsible”.
But Politics is going in directions I dont like. Five years ago, I believed in the Good Friday Agreement. Today…I dont. I voted for Brexit on the basis that it might be a game-changer….the point at which the Good Friday Agreement can be put in the dustbin of HIstory. Whether it was the Agreement itself or the outworking of it or sabotage from London is almost irrelevant.
It wont deliver for Nationalists. Sinn Féin is in office without power and is satisfied. SDLP are pouting that they are not in power but really they should shoulder some of the blame. They were out-played after 1998. And seem to have embraced a form of words “progressive nationalism” as a form of words to cover internal divisions. While some advance SDLP, others seem intent on changing SDLP to advance a different agenda. The Party is best served at Council level but are undermined by a faux professionalism and those that purport to see abig picture of PES colleagues in western Europe and British Labour and Irish Labour. Avoiding niche campaigns like student loans and roaming charges for mobile phones in Europe might be a good idea.
Brexit gives SDLP an opportunity to advance nationalism. Will they take it? Probably not.
Too many people seem satisfied with DUP-Sinn Féin. The one party State with two wings (as Mark Durkan put it) is the “new normal”. For fifty years, journalists went along with the Stormont regime. For thirty years they were uncritical of the British Administration and now they just go along with the new regime at Stormont.
This DUP-SF government is actually a Constitution and I see no way of changing this in the short or middle term. This will outlive me.
Peace is of course a big prize. I dont underestimate it. And I like a police service which is at least modern and reasonably decent. Ten years ago, I would have encouraged young men and young women to think of PSNI as a career.
Undoubtedly police serve the “Community” but it is increasingly obvious that PSNI serve the needs of the DUP-SF “State” as much and as enthusiastically as the old RUC served the unionist “State”.
The police will fight Crime….except that in which the State is or was involved.
I really dont want to give it credibility by supporting it. I want to ignore it.
So….Time to move on.
Thanks to the people who have read and supported this Blog.
It is now an ex-Blog. I will be closing it down after the weekend and de-activating Twitter and Facebook accounts.
I have a simple request Mr Fitz,
You would be doing us all some service if you would simply mothball the site.
This is a very valuable archive and source of reference for some of us and to see it disappear entirely would be a tragedy.
Oh, and send me your new number for that mobile thingy………… 🙂
It will be here for Posterity.
In 500 years time, it will be discovered by historians and the Keeping an Eye on the Czar of Russia will be a set text at Queens University….so it will.
Goodbye Fitzjameshorse. I hope that your retirement from the NI blogging scene goes well.
Enough grandchildren to keep me happy and busy already and another due in a few months. 🙂
Sorry to hear that. You have done your more than your fair share of enlightening the hoards on here and a big thanks for hosting some of my musings.I have your email address so may pester you from time to time.
It was a pleasure.
Enjoy your retirement. I’ve only discovered your blog, so relieved you’re not going to consign it to the dustbin of history entirely.
I have found that I have forgotten a lot of things I wrote in 2011, 2012 …the early days.
From my persective, it has been interesting to see how the Blog developed over five years.
I’m sure. If you ever take the notion, it would be to resurrect the keyboard.
Ah well, at least Willie Nelson hasnt gave up yet.
He is even older than me!