400 Posts. On 29 August, this blog published its 400th post. The opportunity for a little reflection should not be missed. Have there been any noticeable successes? Have there been any apparent failures? Has anything been achieved? Should one even ask the question?
First, successes of the blog. There have been only a few. The first and most important success is a general one. It is that I have thoroughly enjoyed myself writing it. The blog has given me an opportunity I never had before. I am now free to complain and speak out on issues. As a lawyer and a judge, I was previously obliged to try to keep quiet. As a lawyer, when I did not, it was my clients that suffered. As a judge, when I did not, the public reaction was that judges should not try to be social reformers. This newfound freedom must be good for a person’s mental and physical health. The many emails and telephone calls the blog generates has helped keep me in touch with the man on the street.
There have been one or two unexpected specific successes. One has been the campaign to encourage the police force to engage the public more effectively. When I first wrote about the appalling situation with the police force on 21 December 2006, the public perception of the force was dismal. The weekly press conference that commenced shortly after the blog called for better public relations has done much to calm public fears about a failing police presence on the island. I receive many fewer complaints about lack of information from the police now. Discussion on constitutional reform proceeds, all be it slowly and painfully. Lolita Richardson has produced her first draft of a Constitution for the Chief Minister’s Committee. I have not yet been able to examine it closely. So, I have no opinion on it to express, yet.
Failures, if one wishes to call them that, have been many. Government continues mainly to be run in secret. There is no initiative to consider freedom of information legislation. No credible start has been made on integrity legislation. The FCO continues its laissez faire attitude to good governance in
Not to worry. I know I am no social reformer. I have neither the requisite skills nor the resources of time and dedication. There must be hundreds of persons employed in the private and public sectors in
I have no regrets. This blog has given me an opportunity for me to express my opinion. Whether anyone agrees or not is not the point. It allows persons who wish to do so to share their opinions. Whether you do or not is up to you. This blog is not a mechanism designed specifically to bring about positive change in the governance of our island. When it happens, that is an unexpected good fortune.
On to the next 400. God’s willing.