Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

My heart’s not really in it

Can’t you tell from all the linklog posts?

I’m not going to do one of those “on hiatus” things, but I am thoroughly bored with current affairs at the moment – be it Putin threatening Europe with missiles (entirely sensible, considering that’s effectively what we’re all threatening to do to Russia with the US missile defence shield), Gordon Brown showing once again he’s little different to Blair with his plans for new terrorism laws, the upcoming G8 summit, anything.

As for more vague, theoretical ramblings – all speculation on the future of the EU is currently futile, and will be until Gordon Brown finally gets off his fat arse and says something meaningful about what his plans are there (the single most pressing concern for when he takes over as Prime Minister, no matter what he may think, as everyone else is hoping to finalise plans in July), as the UK is currently preventing any progress on EU reform whatsoever. There’s not even any point in talking about Cameron‘s EU plans, because not only is his European policy barely formed (if vaguely promising-sounding), but it could alter at a moment’s whim as soon as the party faithful tick him off.

Working out Sarkozy‘s precise plans is likewise tricky as hell – reams of copy have been written on Sarkozy and Europe since he became president, but it’s all been contradictory – just like his appointment of a pro-Turkey Foreign Minister when he’s personally against Turkish entry. Until the spotlight of the European press goes off him a bit, it’s going to be hard to see what his plans will be – though France certainly looks to be the most politically interesting EU country at the moment, that’s for sure.

The increasing tensions with Russia towards Europe’s eastern fringes I’ve yet again not quite managed to work out. There are Russian parliamentary elections coming up later this year, with presidential elections in early 2008, but it seems a bit early for Putin to be going belligerent to shore up patriotic, pro-government support. And the current unpredictability of Russia and Putin again makes any speculation about the EU’s future utterly futile, as the stability (or otherwise) of Russian gas supplies is increasingly looking to be the single most important factor in Europe’s future progress.

Meanwhile, as this place has a European focus, writing about the run-up to the US presidential primaries seems pointless – not least because my basic take on all the leading candidates (bar, possibly, Mitt Romney) is “who cares, at least he/she’s not Bush” (though if you could get an Obama/McCain team-up unity ticket I’d be a happy man).

Likewise, I’m not going to go back to covering terrorism (no matter how popular that may once have made this site), because it bores the hell out of me – as does the middle east (though you may well get a lengthy piece on Suez at some point later today, written a fair while ago, prompted by my annoyance at Andrew Marr’s oversimplification of the crisis in his otherwise entertaining “Modern History of Britain” programme, done in a studenty attempt to hint at barely existent modern parallels). The only reason I care about Iraq is that I have a few friends in the army who occasionally get sent out there, and the only reason I care about Afghanistan is that another mate of mine’s been out in Kabul for the last nine months, advising on some kind of top-secret governmental gubbins.

Plus, of course, I know tit all about Iraq or Afghanistan or military tactics – and when you don’t know the subject, it’s best to shut up lest you look an idiot. (Bloggers worldwide, heed these words and stop spewing out meaningless, idiotic, repetitive and consistently partisan drivel.)

As such, until I find something to genuinely interest me again, I may be a bit quiet. That interest may well turn out to be French politics, it may be minority rights in eastern Europe, it may be Turkish reform and EU entry, it may be Russia’s foreign policy. But I’m not prepared to rattle off half-hearted nonsense on subjects about which I know very little – and currently I have too much real-world work to do enough background reading to keep me up to speed (even if a lot of it is utterly trivial nonsense like this, this or this).

In other words, it’s time to follow the old maxim if you haven’t got anything worth saying, it’s best to say nothing at all. (And just think how few blogs there would be if all of us bloggers heeded that advice… The internet’d be a quarter of the size…)

Back properly at some point, possibly soon.