Dear Brothers and Sister of the Blog
Many years ago, too many to remember, when the land was threatened by the barbarian and the thug, when law and justice were in danger, and when the nation had been betrayed by the corruption and incompetence of its political classes, a man stepped forward who was willing to resist the decline into the coming Dark Ages, and who with courage and virtue took up arms against the coming Night.
He is known to the modern world as Arthur, and he was dux bellorum, leader in battles. The name Arthur was probably a “battle name” derived from a nickname or pseudonym – from the welsh “Arth”, meaning “bear”. So we had a noble leader, courageous and true, and going by the name of an animal.
Now it is said that Arthur did not ever really leave us and pass from us into that eternal slumber that awaits us all. Wounded, he merely departed the stage temporarily, and, so it is said, lies sleeping, awaiting the call should Britain ever again face ultimate calamity. He is thus, ARTHURUS, QUONDAM REXQUE FUTURUS; Arthur, the once and future king.
This week Anna Raccoon retired from blogging. She has placed the blog itself in the capable hands of SadButMadLad and Matt Wardman.
I am relatively new to the Blogosphere. I merely stumbled across it at a time of great personal crisis for me, whiling away the hours. I do not remember making any conscious choice to seek it out, but merely found a variety of sites which by varying degree amused, informed, provided catharsis and engaged.
However, the Anna Raccoon site was very special. If I say that the Blog had a Libertarian bent, I may be doing it an injustice. I am not a political expert, and have no fixed affiliations. What I discovered was a Blog which boasted a cadre of free thinking, independent minded commentators and freedom fighters. Anna herself, of course, but also others. Common themes were the protection of freedom, the exposure of injustice by the state, and the cause of the Common Man. The writing was always of the highest quality, and there was quantity too. I do know that Anna herself worked tirelessly to review a host of daily sources and keep up the volume of posts. And these were not your ordinary pithy Internet posts, but eloquent essays. It was less of a blog and more of a magazine.
But it was never purely political. There could be a hilarious and moving essay Anna’s somewhat eccentric family one minute; a polemic on the evils of petty bureaucrats or foolish local councils the next, or a scabrous satire on a political figure and then a simple diary piece the next. Less a blog than an online magazine.
There was always vigorous debate and contribution.
Anna had a passion for the defence of the weak and for defence of liberty. In that regard she was in particular a hawkish observer and critic of the murky workings of the Court of Protection helping Mark Neary and his son Steven fight against their council, and played a leading role in the campaign to free Landlord Nick Hogan from jail for breaching the anti smoking legislation, and smote the Stalinist Sandwell Council, forcing them to withdraw their threat to prosecute a pensioner for allegedly dropping cigarette ash. On a personal level she was endlessly kind to me, and even gave me the pleasure and the privilege of posting a few of my scribblings.
Anna has now hung up her blogging hat. I do know that keeping up such a prodigious output and maintaining the site, sometimes in the face of the abuse and backbiting that comes with it was very, very hard work.
She has departed, like Arthur, silently and mysteriously into the mist, a great leader of courage and virtue. No longer with us, but, I hope, not finally departed either. Perhaps she will return. She will certainly never be forgotten
And so I can think of no finer tribute to Anna than to hail her thus:
HIC ANNONA PROCYON LOTOR ERAT; REGINA BLOGGORUM QUANDAM REGINAQUE FUTURUES!
Or in English: This was Anna Raccoon; the once and future queen of the blogs!
Good luck Anna, from all of us.
Gildas the Monk
Originally published (in a slightly different form) on Grumpy Old Twat’s site