This site has been operating now since January 2007. Throughout this time it has changed quite a bit, both in terms of its focus and its writing style.
I’ve enjoyed writing here.
However, after almost eight years, it’s time for a change.
I’m not saying the blog is dead.
I’m not necessarily stopping the blog. However, it is going to undergo a change.
A good chunk of this blog has focused on local politics, first as an independent pro-PLP site when I was an active member of the PLP, and since then as an independent, non-aligned, political blog.
I am not able to continue that particular line of writing going forward, at least not for the forseeable future. Effective immediately I am ceasing all commentary on local politics.
What that means for the blog, I don’t really know. I’ve been experimenting over the last few months with a non-political writing style. Thoughts on books or articles I’m reading, a review of this or that legislation (in a non-political way), or a look at historical (or other) speeches/writings which I think are simply interesting.
I’d like to experiment some more with such an approach.
I realise they don’t quite have the same popular appeal as posts framed around local politics. However, I’ve enjoyed them and found them quite stimulating. Whether readers agree, I don’t know. But needs must.
So, as regards blogging about local politics, adieu, adieu to you and you and you!
And for the sake of clarity, the above also applies to Facebook and Twitter.
My Vote Starling page on Facebook has already been converted to this blogs Facebook page, and my Twitter handle has changed to a non-political one. The Vote Starling website that I set up for the election has also been retired. The ‘About’ page has also been changed already to reflect this change in direction.
I have tried over the years to engage in reasoned discussion.
I have my positions; I’ve never hid them. I have, however, tried to listen to others and been willing to change my mind if convinced by an argument. I’ve tried to be respectful of others and their positions. To what degree I’ve succeeded in any of that is not something I can really judge however. All I can say is that I’ve tried my best.
I am hopeful that other voices will continue to grow in strength and number to continue these political discussions going forward, even if I am not able to participate actively along with them.
While much of these conversations are quick to descend into partisan shouting matches and personal attacks, there are also good conversations where individuals come away from them with healthy respect for the other, positions have been clarified and perhaps even one or two minds changed.
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part, however, I’d like to think that – in time – we’ll have more of the latter and less of the former.
On a related note, I realise that my ending local political commenting further reduces the number of local blogs providing local political commentary. Blogs provide a much different contribution in terms of such commentary, very much different from the more rapid-fire conversations that social media like Facebook and Twitter offer. They provide a greater in-depth more constructed argument in my opinion.
If we are to achieve a sustainable Bermuda then one thing we also need to achieve is sustainable and respectful conversations that are based on constructive dialogue, mutual respect and and reasoned debate which together contribute to positive change for our island. Central to this is the ability to listen to the other and reflect on what is being said rather than reacting. We must learn to listen to each other with enough care to learn from each other if we are to work together for our common interests.
I remain hopeful that such is achievable, and I wish you well.
One last note. I hope that someone else will pick up the baton of local political commentary. There is a space there for a critical progressive voice out there, and that’s what this site tried to do.
While I’m no longer able to continue that, I am happy to help facilitate anyone that wishes to do so. Just drop me a line.
There are already a number of other voices out there, writing on their own sites, on Facebook or in the media. I’ve enjoyed sharing the platform with them and learning from them.