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!