This was an interesting read.
Britain Could Be Canada
Ottawa’s ability to balance its interests and partners offers lessons for London.
There is a major difficulty though. As the article says:
Canada’s understanding of its role in the world is one of its core strengths. “No Canadian ever kidded himself that we were a great power,” he said. “No such memory clouds our thinking.”
But that is one of the great difficulties Britain has. Too many in Britain (at all levels of society and government) still see Britain as a global power. It was inherent to the whole concept of Brexit. Clinging to it was one of the drivers of a desire to depart from the EU. There is little chance that those people would now take a realistic assessment of their diminished role on the global ladder. That would just negate so much of the justification for Brexit in the first place.
It is one of the many reasons why Brexit is an illusionary destination. And having achieved it, the UK will remain trouble with itself for a long time to come.
It was nice as well to see further recognition of the blinder that was played by the Irish government and diplomatic service:
In Britain’s negotiations with Ireland over Brexit, some senior politicians in London were dismissive of the effectiveness of Irish diplomacy. One cabinet minister, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, told me that Ireland was a small country, which meant that the quality of its ministers could not match that of those in the U.K.. And yet this attitude proved part of London’s undoing in the negotiations, which saw Ireland win more of its objectives than Britain did.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin deserve a huge amount of kudos for the work that has been done. I know a few people from the embassy here in Stockholm, and I like to praise them for their work on this when I meet them. It’s easy to bash the government and civil service at times. But they need to be recognised for they excellent work as well!
[2020 Target 2/52. Words 850]
I have never been a great person for New Year’s Resolutions. If you are going to change your life, even a little bit, why start at this time of year? But sometimes I do manage to do so. Last year I was a bit concerned that I had stopped reading books. So I set myself the target of reading 15 in the year. I am not sure what the final number was, but it was probably closer to 30 than 15. Along the way I jump started my reading habit again. There is a medium height stack of un-read books beside my bed at the moment. Sometimes the personal challenges work!
This year there are one or two things I want to do differently with my life. Some of them are focused on fitness and health. But I can assure you I will not be joining a gym. On the mental side, if last year was focused on reading, then this year is on writing. And one of the things I want is to do more with this blog.
I like writing, and I like sharing my writing here. I am setting myself the challenge of writing at least a blog post a week. At an average post length of 500 words, then I should produce about 25,000 words. If this then is to be the first post of the year I guess I had better drag it out to 500 words then so. This and all the future ones will be tracked (look for some numbers down at the bottom on posts out of 52, and total word count).
At the moment Google says about 4 people a week read this blog. Which is nice. And it would be nice if it were more. But it is not why I am here. I write for myself. I would like if some people are enjoying what I write. Still lets see can I get a few more people dropping by each week.
The other thing then is writing fiction. Someone wise once said that everyone has a book in them. And another wise person said that that’s probably the best place for most of those books. I have a few ideas in my head. But I have not written fiction in a long time. I am tempted to try. Again this is mostly for my benefit – will I enjoy the craft of writing? Can I wrangle the ideas in my head into something coherent on a page? Will what I write look any good? Would anyone want to read it? And that is the tricky bit. Posting it here is a totally different matter to some 500 blog post. If I do manage to make the time to write, assume initially only a select few will see my output.
Okay, that’s enough personal introspection and nonsense. Expect future posts to be more fun, and hopefully a bit more thought provoking. After all I have 3 readers to keep entertained!
[2020 Target: Post 1/52. Words 492/25,000]