Back before I took ten days out from the world I wondered about the future of my zenpolitics blog. ‘Politics and creativity, blogs and poetry are uneasy bedfellows….There has to be something obsessive about a political blog, and I may want to put obsession behind me.’
Which, indeed, I do.
Trump happened while I was away. Here in the UK, judges insisted that the government couldn’t invoke Article 50 without first putting it before parliament. Theresa May had an embarrassing trip to India. She looked out of her depth. I could but don’t want to comment on all this. I’ve spent years doing so, and especially in this Brexit year. But with so much going on it’s almost a full-time job just to keep up to speed. Let alone comment.
We are in a time of crisis. Zenpolitics has always assumed a continuing broadly liberal agenda in Western politics, and that’s now very much under threat. If, as the Economist argues, Trump’s success is replicated in Europe, ‘the EU may eventually tilt toward a common assembly for mutually beneficial transactions rather than a club of like-minded countries with a sense of shared destiny’.
I will continue to argue for that shared destiny. But to look out for insights and inspiration, and anomalies, and avoid day-to-day combat. Insights into politics, but also I hope into landscapes, real and imaginary, and travel.
I will as always aim to understand the other’s point of view. But there are a good few bastards out there, not to put too fine a point on it.
So I will sometimes fail.