Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Agenda

Over on SNP Tactical Voting I left a comment on a recent piece about the death of blogging, and in reply Jeff left me a comment, part of which was to say

“…I read your blog but it's not immediately obvious which side of the many fences you come down on which could maybe count against you. It shouldn't but it could…” The full post and comments is HERE.

I don’t disagree with Jeff’s point, but it did make me pause for some thought.

When I started this blog it was after reading a number of other blogs, mostly on MSM sites and although I agreed with much of it, I found it frustrating when issues I though important went uncommented on, and on occasion when important topics were framed in a way that I felt missed the point; whether deliberate or not. It was also started with an ignorance of just how broad the Blogosphere really is. But it was started to be a place for my thoughts and ideas and that was how I wanted it to be.

My voting record and intentions are a matter of record here; I have voted Conservative in the past two General Elections, which are the only two I have been old enough to vote for. I voted Jury Team at the last EU Elections, and UKIP prior to this. With the current Conservative policies on the EU I have resolved that I cannot bring myself to vote for them until the Conservative Party gets a hold of itself over the EU and commits to withdrawal. Jeff is right; my politics are all over the shop, because I vote on the policies and how I see them. My politics do not line up to any of the parties exclusively. This is obviously showing through in my posts.

You will not get party allegiance here. I am broadly of the political Libertarian Right, and when The Conservatives, UKIP, LPUK and even the English Democrats and Jury Team talk about issues I see to be important, they get my support, and when they are not making much sense I will also say when I disagree. I would say the same of the Parties of the Left such as Labour, Lib Dems and the BNP, but I have not found anything I can side with them on; so they will continue to receive my criticism.

I am writing this blog because for many years I have taken an active interest in politics, and the more I read and the more I wanted to take part the more frustrated I became. There was a point when I wanted to get involved with the Conservatives and go knocking on doors, and try and win people and voters over. But, I do not agree with the Conservatives on certain things. I certainly do not agree with their current stance on the EU, and feel sorry for the people that have recently felt that they have been let down. But there is much more than that, the Conservatives are a “broad church” and for that they should be commended, but on policy, it is the same collection opposing factions in Westminster pulling the strings. Their only real strength is their continued presence in Westminster as a non-left wing party. The rise of the internet and with new ideas being expressed, I think their position as the sole power on the right of British politics is going to be severely challenged in the next two decades. Anyway, they do not stand for everything I believe in, no party does, so they will not earn my membership, nor my blog allegiance (bloglegiance).

I believe the state should be small, and that it should be drawn by the people of the people and for the people. The state is currently suffocating people, and I want to argue against this. I believe in the rule of law, and that those laws should be written by democratically elected representatives, and that execution of the law should be done by civilians, and that the law should be applied fairly. I believe that people should be distrustful of the state, and should be able to stand up to the state so as to demonstrate that we are being governed by our kin and our neighbours. I want the state to represent the views of the majority opinion, but to show compassion and understanding to the minority. I want the state to only have as much power as is needed to execute its duties, to legislate and protect the people it represents. I want the state to never believe it is above its own laws or the values of those they serve. I want the state to stay out of the way and out of the lives of individuals and families, I want it to have boundaries and a framework it dare not cross. I want people to be able to live their lives, to exchange information and news freely, to be free to assemble without molestation, for the state to know that it works for the people and is there to serve us, not the other way around. And most importantly, if and when any of the above is infringed upon with or without intention or malevolence, I want the people to be able to throw out the whole rotten lot and appoint a group of people, who, can stand and win office on the strength of their arguments and bring about a new government as mandated by the people. There are measures by which all of the above can be monitored, and in my mind we live in sad and dangerous times.

Unfortunately for me, to be able to blog here and write in defence of my political beliefs, I am unable to put myself into the camp of one party. Yes, I generally feel that none of the political parties can match my lofty ideals, but that as I see it is their malfunction, not mine. Looking across parties, there are bits here and there that I agree with, and in my position I am free to do so. I do not expect my opinions to be universally accepted or understood, but there is always the comment form for people who do visit here to register their opposition. Jeff’s point was that without a tribe in which to belong I may be missing out on a few people’s blog rolls and that that may be costing me some lost traffic. That may be the case, it certainly seems logical. I don’t think that I can bring myself to plead for blog roll links from those who feel that they cannot link here because I am not towing a party line, because there are many who already have linked to me without that fear; plus, I don’t want to. If I am losing traffic it is because I am not as good at this as other bloggers and I know I am not as good a writer as I wish I was. If I get a hit and that person does not come back, I only did half of my job. I have not broken the glass ceiling because I have not been able to entice people to keep reading my musings. For the record, Jeff is a fantastic blogger who is able to write impartially and cogently about a party and cause that he is obviously passionate about, and also then is able to engage in detailed follow up in the comments. If you are not terribly familiar with his blog, please make some time and have a read. There are some brilliant Scottish bloggers, and in my opinion the SNP bloggers are winning the argument for a separation of the UK, an opinion that they are convincing me on that I did not hold a year ago.

So I am not about to join any party, but I am going to try to be clearer about where I stand on certain matters. There are probably a thousand blogs where you can go to get party grass roots and member’s commentary. But come to this blog and you will get my honest assessment, but you can always know by coming here that I am not pushing you towards a particular party. I am not sure if that counts for anything on the political blogosphere, but that’s just how it is.

And as one of my film heroes says “and that’s all I got to say about that.”


Tarquin said...

I've always known where you stand, Dan

It is hard to find a well-written blog that isn't too closely tied to a party, and I tend to go for the general libertarian blogs rather than any party-political blogs

The thing is, I can't stand party politics and if one does something wrong then I'll call it, I'm not a tribalist - a lot of people on the net are prejudiced and only want their existing views agreed with, it's surprising really when you think the net should foster more opinion that people still seem tied to the old parties, though I guess they have a natural advantage

But basically, if you want a top blog, toe the party line and get the activists, otherwise stick to reasoned, intelligent thoughts and get less followers - quantity or quality I guess

Personally I don't see the point of the numbers game, you'd just be another voice saying the same thing as a few thousand other people, it's more difficult to be a popular independent blogger, but it can be done

Quiet_Man said...

I'm in the same boat, though nowhere near as articulate. I can't find any of the mainstream parties I could honestly vote for either, not unless they do a major rethink.

Fausty said...

Swings and roundabouts, Daniel. There are plenty on ConHome eager to be squeezed into their party boxes, willing to spout the party line, despite their inner beliefs. Many don't philosophise too much or dare to cross boundaries, for fear of being criticised by their fellow political prisoners.

You, on the other hand, have expressed your views honestly. Your views are held by a large number of people, myself included, so I'm glad you chose to air them.

We've reached a critical point in politics. We have the opportunity to make history - to change the status quo and to oust the rot that has been eating away our democracy for decades. If we don't voice our true opinions, then we can't possibly persuade or encourage anyone to do the same.

Barking Spider said...

I agree with you and everyone else here, Daniel.

I have no party ties and have no love for any of the main parties - Cameron's true colours, (as we all previously suspected - the signs were obvious), emerged in glorious, blazing technicolor in the last week or two!

When I don't like what I see I have as good a rant at Cameron as I do about Brown and his thugs!

My interest lies in what's best for the Country and loyalty to any particular party has no place in that interest.

As far as I can see you fit into the same category - as do all of us here!

Sue said...

Same here.. I'm sure we all just want the same thing, a fair, sane and democratic society to live in!

Daniel1979 said...

Thank you everyone for your comments; it seems that many of us do indeed feel the same way.

The Boiling Frog said...

I agree, I think you echo a lot of people’s views on this subject. I’ve personally never shown loyalty - via the ballot box - to any party, and it’s refreshing to read a blog that doesn’t either, and expresses similar views to my own.

I often find that partisan politics can be very off putting; it’s certainly frustrating for example to be a eurosceptic, only to find that you immediately get dismissed as a jingoistic Tory. It’s almost as if Tony Benn had never existed.

Jeff has a point about not belonging to a tribe regarding links, but I believe there’s a more fundamental problem. The big boys appear to have a rather insular view of the blogosphere in the UK – which is not as diverse as in the US – and thus inhabit a kind of virtual Westminster Village where they link to each other but in the main ignore the rest.

Dr North over on EURefendum has continually railed against the lack of links from the big players despite having one of the premier anti-EU sites on the blogosphere.

Sometimes it appears to be more of a case of; ‘if your face fits’, but certainly nothing to do with the quality of your writing, Dan.

Anonymous said...

There is hope.

The smaller parties are getting together of the 2010 General Election - watch this space