This Blog – Past, Present and Future?
I originally set-up this blog in 2007, with assistance from Limey-in-Bermuda, a now defunct but then pioneering blog. It was originally set up in order to provide an alternative political voice (from the left) on the Bermuda blogosphere, which hitherto had been limited in ideological diversity.
The initial purposes of this blog was twofold:
1) To provide an ongoing critique of Bermudian politics, independent of both the OBA and the PLP.
2) To provide an ongoing advocacy of socialism, in Bermuda and generally.
This can be seen in the historical archives of the site, up until around October 2015. I decided, for various reasons, in October 2015 to change tack somewhat.
For the forseeable future, post-October 2015, this blog will be steering clear of local politics and won’t be explicitly advocating socialism (in Bermuda or generally). Instead, well, as I edit this page, I’m not exactly sure what focus the blog will be taking.
I imagine it will either simply go dormant or I’ll focus on a commentary on various papers/books I’m reading, or excerpts from the same, which I think are interesting and feel like sharing.
I’ve only ever read Volume I, excerpts from II and III and about half of the Grundrisse. So, I may provide a running commentary as I undertake such a mammoth task, perhaps seeing if I can’t provide some Bermudian examples to aid in the process.
I simply don’t know.
I am a Bermudian, born in 1979. In 1997 I started a BSc (Hons) in Anthropology and Biology at Trent University, in Canada, and subsequently returned to Bermuda in 2003, whereupon I started my military service and began working for the Department of Conservation Services. In 2008 I decided on a career change and went back to school. I was inspired to do this as a result of the Bermuda Sustainable Development Initiative (and their call for Bermudians to train and return to help with it) and the granting of home fees status to citizens of UK Overseas Territories.
With the intention to return and work in the general area of Sustainable Development, I sought to enhance my background in Anthropology/Biology and experience within Conservation Services by pursuing studies in economics, public policy and planning. I subsequently completed a MSc (Distinction) in Ecological Economics at the University of Edinburgh and a MSc (Distinction) in Urban and Regional Planning at Heriot-Watt University, both in Edinburgh. I also worked for a year with Forest Research, part of Defra (the UK Department of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs), notably working on the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.
All of this occupied me for much of 2008 to 2011, and the blog suffered accordingly, with posting being less regular as I would have liked. In mid 2011 I put the blog on ice while I returned to Bermuda to look for work. After six months of looking for work, with the exception of various part-time jobs, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity I just couldn’t refuse.
In November, 2011, I was contacted by my alma mater, Heriot-Watt University, and informed that they would like to offer me a three year James Watt Scholarship to pursue Doctoral studies in Urban Planning.
And so, for (hopefully!) the next three years (2012-2015) I will again be based in Edinburgh, Scotland, working on research relating to urban studies. The particular focus of my research will be on matters of environmental justice and green infrastructure (the role of ‘nature’ within cities). Nonetheless, I intend to continue with the blogs, as well as keep abreast of developments in Bermuda.
With any luck I’ll visit much more regularly, rather than the whole three-year ‘exile’ of 2008-2011. I intend to continue to be involved in Bermudian politics, and will consider how best to do so as events unfold. If an opportunity arises in which I think I can contribute directly, I will certainly seize it!
October 2015 Update
Well, to build on the above, 2015 is coming to a close. I’m finishing up the PhD and hope to finish it completely in early 2016, and that’s going to take up a lot of my free time for the next few months.
I’m also taking up an opportunity to contribute directly to Bermuda along the lines I set out above – part of which requires me to cease any partisan commenting, hence the changes to this site. This opportunity allows me to give back to Bermuda and build on the experience and skills I’ve developed since moving to Scotland in 2008 for further education and experience. I’m looking forward to it!
October 2020 Update
After a five year hiatus, I’ve decided to dust off my blog and see whether it is something worth doing still.
Over the last five years I have considered different ways to make the blog relevant, noting that the age of blogging has largely given way to social media commenting. I’m going to trial a few approaches here, however my basic idea is this:
- To be a ‘go to’ site for news about Bermuda’s municipalities and quangos.
- To be a ‘go to’ site for news about all public tenders and consultations.
- To be a site of political education for Bermudians in terms of explaining/exploring our constitution, the mysteries of our parliamentary system and Acts as tabled (and sometimes I’ll look to review existing Acts).
- To be a site looking at union issues in Bermuda and elsewhere.
- To be a site where I discuss theoretical political and economic issues.
- To be a site where I discuss issues related to cooperatives.
- Considering some economic analyses, especially around banking matters and global economics.
What I am not looking at doing is offering opinion about local politics. I know that’s a massive draw historically. And I know I could write about it. I’m just choosing not too. My discussion of local politics and Acts will be as non-opinionated as possible – I’ll consider things like election results, political appointments and seek to explain what this or that Act will do, just without really offering an opinion one way or the other. The closest I’d get to offering opinion might be my engagement with local union issues, though my focus there will be on union matters themselves.
Of course, I don’t live in a vacuum, and what catches my fancy from week to week will no doubt be influenced by local politics. What I decide to focus on as regards political theory, for example, will likely be influenced by what is happening in Bermudian politics. For example, writing in mid-October 2020 as I am, I am interested in how a dominant political party with little to no parliamentary opposition is able to transcend electoral politics to realise transformative politics, or ward off against losing touch with the grassroots. However, I’ll be approaching that in theory only, only touching on Bermudian politics when and where I feel it will illuminate aspects of my theoretical investigation.
So, we’ll see.