Well, I am afraid this is the blogpost where I tell you that I am giving up blogging. This decision has been coming for some time and was nearly made a month ago, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do it then. Well, today I can.
There's no single reason, but let me try to explain as best I can why I can no longer blog in the way I have been doing over the last five years. First of all, let me say what it's NOT about. It's got nothing to do with the Conservatives being in power. There's this myth that blogging in government is less interesting than in opposition. I've never bought that argument. I think I have been quite open in making clear when I think the coalition have got things wrong, but I accept that is not the perception, and probably never will be.
The truth is, I no longer enjoy blogging and I think that this has been evident for a few months now to my readers. I hate the backbiting that goes along with it. I hate the character assassination that is permanently present. I no longer enjoy the pressure of feeling I have to churn out four or five pieces every day. I used to enjoy sitting in front of the TV at home in the evenings and writing blogposts at the same time. I can't do that any longer as I am on the radio every weekday evening. And when I am in the office during the day I have two companies to run. Something has to give.
And if I am honest, I now feel that my blogging is having a negative effect on various aspects of my business and broadcasting life. For instance, yesterday I felt, for various reasons, I had to slightly caveat what I really wanted to say about Tom Baldwin's appointment. Another post in the last few days has caused an unfortunate situation too with a potential advertising client. My blog is indeed a personal plaything, independent of Total Politics or LBC, but the reality is that this is not how many in the outside world see it. And I now need to recognise that.
I'm working 9am to 10pm five days a week. I enjoy it. I relish it. I thrive on it. I'm running a very successful publishing company which is, I believe, on the brink of great success. I've achieved a lifetime's ambition of having my own daily radio talk show. I am not about to put either of those things at risk. And frankly, I'm not going to put my health at risk either. As I said above, something has to give in this life I am now leading, and I am afraid it is the blog.
However - and this is where I row back a little - I still want to have an outlet where I can share my thoughts with the world as and when I feel like it. So the blog will still be here. The Daley Dozen will continue, courtesy of Grant Tucker's efforts. And I will write bits from time to time when I want to, as opposed to when I feel I must. But in practice those occasions will be few and far between for the foreseeable future.
In the new year I'll be launching a new website which will replace this blog and my current personal site. It's been in the 'building' stage for some time, but should be ready to go during January.
I have also decided to give up all party political activities, as they too have hampered aspects of my business and broadcasting career in the past. I am, and will remain, a Conservative supporter, but that's as far as it goes.
Finally, I'd like to thank all my readers for sticking with me through good times and bad over the last five years. To the many enemies I have made along the way, I'll just say in a very Nixon-esque manner, just rejoice in the fact that you won't have me to kick around any longer. For the moment, anyway. For the most part, I have enjoyed the blogging experience and made a lot of friends through it.
Thank you, and Au revoir.
PS I shall still be tweeting HERE.