In the nearly two years since this blog first became a regular feature I have, slightly to my surprise, put up 400 different entries. They cover a lot of ground, although I notice certain themes coming back quite consistently: the future of politics, the need for both economic and social Liberalism, the threats in the international system.
Sometimes the entries are written on the run and doubtless many could benefit from tighter editing.
I think I am finding a consistent voice for myself: sceptical, thoughtful -I hope- and increasingly committed to an integrated view of political freedom.
I will be travelling to Belgrade over the next couple of days, and then going back to Aberdeen, where I look forward to seeing friends and family. As a result blogging may be a little sparse for a while.
I have just read through David Cameron's speech- and I notice that another theme is becoming considerable scepticism about the Conservative Party and especially its leader. I was slightly nettled by one comment he made in what I felt was a rather pedestrian speech. Cameron sought to claim that the Conservatives had always been on the side of the dissidents and opponents of Communism in Central Europe during the cold war. Well, there certainly were many honourable Conservatives who were unflinching in their support- like Stefan Terlezki- but by no means all Tories recognised the moral battle of the Cold War.
In 1983, my school persuaded my to apply to Peterhouse, Cambridge- unknown to me a hotbed of support for the radical right: Michael Portillo in his most unreconstructed form was very much the archetype of the college. As I was interviewed by the admissions tutor- a slightly effete don with a mild drawl and Portillo's own tutor- it became clear that I was a supporter of the eastern European dissidents and also a member of the Liberal Party. The parting witticism: "With your support for Baltic independence and the Liberals, we think you might be too addicted to lost causes" reflected the arrogance of the Conservative Party at its worst.
As Cameron- a man with a similar drawl- claimed the credit for things of which he was not a part of and indeed knew very little about, I felt my gorge rise. I hope that there is indeed an election: I am confident enough in the strength of my own party and more than a little eager to see the departure of yet another Conservative leader.