1. Blogging constantly is a massive drain. Last year, I managed 366 posts, most of which were original articles/think pieces/rambling rambles (delete as appropriate). All of these were written in my own time and mostly in evenings after a day at work. It inevitably meant evenings out were passed up, the rare decent television offering was ignored, and too many books were left glowering at me, unread. I'd like to be a veritable opinion machine capable of churning out flawless and excellent articles all the time, but I can't. The pace has to slacken because I fancy doing other things. Occasionally.
2. I don't think I've been as bone idle, politically speaking. This year I've managed to get two leafleting sessions under my campaigning belt, a feat truly worth the old Soviet 'Hero of Socialist Labour' medal. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is work. Since September I've taken on more responsibility, which has meant a never-ending stream of emails requesting reports about this and that. Rewriting three modules as I go along has hardly helped matters either. Still, I'm not moaning, I enjoy my job. But it does mean time and energy previously reserved for the hard graft of talking to "real people" has found itself allotted to other things, unfortunately.
3. Ah yes, the second reason. There's no point beating about the bush. The Labour Party might be stronger organisationally speaking than it has been for many years, but nothing has happened these last six months suggesting that a) the labour movement (not just the party) has strengthened over this period and that the "new politics" is winning adherents beyond the already-converted, and b) we stand a chance of winning in 2020. That's alright if you're of the leftist stripe who thinks power flows from the barrel of extra-parliamentary activity, but it doesn't. Historically, in Britain, it has tended to be a dialectical fusion of the two. Street politics and committee room politics shape and condition one another, and occasionally conspire with events to create opportunities for lasting political and social change. Jeremy is a good leader from the extra-parliamentary point-of-view, but he has proven not so stellar in the daily cut-and-thrust. While a lot of this is filtered through some of the most disgraceful media coverage a leading British politician has ever received, his programme at present (and I would contend in the immediate future) is not going to appeal to sufficient numbers to win. Unfortunately, when activists are convinced they're losing it's not terribly common for them to redouble their efforts in the hope sheer voluntarism can turn the situation around. This is especially true when time and energy is in short supply. De-motivation is usually the norm, and in my case if you're not feeling inspired to pull your finger out, writing about it regularly is difficult too.
There we have it. Three reasons for taking this here blog and steering it into the slow lane. There will be regular new stuff, but at a lower, gentler frequency.