As soon as the coalition government was formed on May 11th 2010 I started to grow a beard. I promised not to shave it off until either a Labour Government came into office or Cardiff Blues won the European Rugby Cup. The chances of the latter are receding year by year. This season we sacked our coach (again) and finished bottom but two in the league. For the second year running we have failed to qualify for the Cup. Therefore the General Election results mean that the beard must stay for another five years. Fortunately I have now come to prefer it and would find it difficult to return to a morning shave.
Now that the election is over I will no longer blogging on a daily basis, and will only make the occasional contribution on this site. I well remember some inspirational words offered to me in the mid 1980s (the disastrous period in Labour history) by the great US political scientist Austin Ranney. I was exhausted after the election and miners’ strike and in despair of the future of the left. Austin told me we should all do what little we could. His words have always remained with me. I will therefore be working on a short book on my experiences and my perspective on Labour politics in the UK. The intention will be to publish it in electronic form, available free of charge in September. Meanwhile thank you to all who have offered support and feedback.