It is always relatively easy to maintain a point of view, a position or a perspective. Mostly, all you have to do is ignore or dismiss anything which contradicts what you think and just stick rigidly and thoughtlessly to what is in your own head. When Mrs Thatcher trundled out her friend Tina ("there is no alternative"), it was not because there were no other options but simply because she had closed her mind to anything which did not comply with her decision.
Occasionally, the accumulation of events conspire to send you signals and make you wonder, as The Speaker, Michael Martin, must be doing, whether you have made a blunder and need to change course, perhaps, or simply get the hell out of here.
This slow and sedate, if slightly wobbly and crunching, movement and re-alignment of the celestial bodies which control our lives and signal portents of disasters started with the Damian McBride affair or scanadal or Smeargate or Dolly Gets Slaughtered or whatever it was called. Guido Fawkes was given or acquired the damaging and eventually damning details of how McBride, the figurative monkey at the top of the New Labour propaganda tree, was going to poison the bananas of the New Tory brand republic and feed them to the world. He was going to lie and pretend that he was leaking shameful secrets to a new blog, TheRedRag.
Except that he was found out and, slipping on the banana skins of his own devising, lost his job and dragged down Derek Draper and the whole trembling little pile of wreckage which had once been New Labour's edifice of credibility.
Of course, at around this time, plenty of other things were happening. Jacqui Smith's husband, Richard Timney, hired out a couple of porno films and sent the bill to the taxpayer, illustrating that if you are an MP or anyone connected with a politician, you never have to pay for anything, because the workers always foot the bill. We also had a funny little disjointed series in The Guardian, along with throwaway comments in regular articles about how local and national newspapers were collapsing all over the world and it was, it seemed, the fault of the internet and crummy, crappy bloggers who were mugging the punters of the Murdoch and MSM established business model.
However, these were things that happen all the time. When did we ever think that politicians were honest and did not have their sticky fingers in the till up to the elbow? When did we ever imagine that newspapers clasped the trusty sword of truth, rather than the swag-bag of loot?
Then we had the case of the CiF Six or whatever name this cause celebre went under. Various people had been banned from commenting at CiF and we were outraged. Effectively, we took over a thread which was supposed to be about what we wanted to see on CiF and turned it into a discussion about how we thought the place should be run.
What actually happened was that a number of people raised points and issues and concerns about the way CiF is run and Matt Seaton and Georgina Henry threw a few generally sneering and condescending words into the mix and eventually proved who was boss.
This process of discourse between the powerless and those in control, the supplicants and Lord and Lady Bountiful, the common herd of groundlings and the actors strutting and declaiming on the stage above eventually seemed to define the scope and spheres of influence between the chatterati and the glitterati, the movers and shakers and the mere commentators, the Hollywood Dream Factory and the backstreet quickie porn-flick peddler.
It was very much them and us and, in my opinion, the "us" lost. However, more of that in a moment.
We then move on to the big events of the day. Not a big event if you are starving in Africa or being rounded up to be shot in some tin-pot, banana republic dictatorship, of course, but a big event within the roughly drawn closed circles or enclosures or corrals or three-ring circuses which we inhabit. The Telegraph unleashed upon an unsuspecting world the Saga of the MPs' Expenses Scandal.
We were all agog. Nothing had prepared us or equipped us to mentally deal with the notion that politicians were other than upright and honest unremitting toilers on our collective behalf at the coalface of probity and decency.
Yeah, except that we all knew this all along and all we ever lacked were the details of who stole exactly how much of our money to filch and fritter away on what particular fripperies.
We had, after all, been saying this ad nauseam on CiF for years. Had nobody been listening?
Unfortunately, here is the point.
We had been confusing the process of making a noise with the result of being heard. We thought that the two went hand in hand. Like babbling toddlers, we thought that our parents were listening. It never crossed our minds that they had simply tuned us out and were enjoying their own daydreams and fantasies in which we played no part.
The hubbub below the line at CiF had done nothing to break the news of the McBride affair. Guido Fawkes had done that and although it produced a dramatic outcome, the readership of this famous blog at order-order.com actually has a pitifully small readership. Politics, it seems, is not something in which there is any real mainstream interest. It is a minor spectator sport in which all the usual suspects just mill around to create the illusion of a crowd.
The puff-piece by Tony Blair which sparked the debate about commenters being banned was written by someone who has demonstrated that he thinks he is far closer to the proximity of God than he is to the ordinary huddled masses of the world. You can be sure he did not even know what was going on below the line. The people there were simply too small for him to notice. The Guardian had, of course, colluded in the historic and current process of the established media clinging and huddling together with the established figures of power. Nothing had changed above the line.
The Telegraph had shown, in a similar way to the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 London summit and the video evidence handed to The Guardian, that big stories are still fed, inevitably and quite resonably, to those media which have the money, the power and the readership to do something useful with them.
So, what is the use of blogging and commenting to an enclosed clique; to those who are, to paraphrase MrPikeBishop aka Frank Fisher, our imaginary friends; to preach to a congregation of the converted from a flimsy pulpit which looks like it has been made by the local infants' school-children from old carboard boxes and daubed with streaked, thin paint?
At the moment, I do not think there is one.
Plenty of people come and go at CiF under evolving aliases and varying degrees of effective disguise. Perhaps they feel like famous spies on undercover forays into enemy territory, overseen and tracked by those even more shadowy figures in the know, but invisible to the lookouts at CiF Towers.
Is it like that or is it more like the whipped dog returning with downcast eyes and a shiver to the heel of its master?
If you just want a bit of backchat and banter, the low-level caress of occasional adulation or a snapping, snarling dog-fight with no blood, but just the tiny clatter of your keyboard, CiF is probably the place to be.
Just don't pretend it will change anything.
As an illustration of this, just ponder for a bit whether you think the current MPs' expenses scandal will really change politics dramatically and fundamentally for any amount of time.
Will we, after the next election, get newly-minted, shining, contrite and principled politicians? Will the election clear out the wrigglers and fiddlers or will they all just whistle with their hands in their pockets for a while, as they walk past the till, but make plans to rob the safe in a few years' time?
Even the series in The Telegraph will very soon be yesterday's news. By the time the election comes round, most people will have forgotten that this was any more than the pub landlord shoving a couple of extra quid onto your receipt for lunch.
So, what is the point of writing at all? Even if The Guardian stuffed your pockets with seventy quid to write above the line and there was a sudden flurry of comments to show that you were being heard, does it make any difference, other than a bit of mutual back-slapping and the indistinct, fuzzy glow you feel when you get your credit card out as you sprawl drunk in front of the telly and give something to charity and pretend that you have just saved Africa.
From my point of view, I do not think there is any likely or probable outcome worth the effort. Perhaps we like to pretend that we are all different kinds of Michael Knight or Jack Bauer: one man (or, of course, woman) who can make a difference. Even collectively, we do not seem to manage it.
All these efforts seem to be little more than stumbling ego trips in which we have our eyes on imaginary splendid achievements, but end up flat on our faces with grazed knees and a shiny, clinging mixture of snot and saliva smeared across our faces.
So, I do not think I will be returning to CiF, under my current alter ego or any other ploy or subterfuge. I cannot see the point.
This is Atomboy signing off and signing out.
Go back and enjoy the party.