What is the point of blogging? Is it purely out of egotism – to show off your skills as a writer, or to demonstrate your own importance? The great George Orwell discussed this in the brilliant and perceptive essayWhy I Write. If you read his description of motivating factors for writers, I would say (ii) and (iv) – but mostly 4. I am not comparing myself to Orwell, however, these loose scribblings are but incompetent rambles compared to his mastery of prose.
For me, the point is to influence the opinion of others and hopefully change things – however slightly – for the better.
I think we urgently need to defend past gains – our welfare state and public services against cuts and privatisation and fight for improvements to our wages and working conditions. This is why I became a union rep.
I can identify with Orwell’s description because I never wanted to get involved in politics. It was only because I felt that I had to – that New Labour was a complete betrayal of everything working people stood for, and we had to fight back. The last time I supported Labour was probably the first time I was eligible to vote in 1992 (actually I voted Lib Dem tactically as I was in a safe Tory seat at the time). Since then, we have had the betrayals of Clause IV, the Iraq War and gradually I became less of an armchair socialist and more of the genuine article. I am glad I got involved in the Socialist Party, who are trying to rebuild a workers’ party.
Another inspirational passage . . .
Orwell – The Road to Wigan Pier – [paraphrased]
“The Earth is like a life raft floating in space. Looked at in this way, isn’t it obvious that we must all share the provisions and all do our share of the work and anyone who argues otherwise must have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. Looked at in this way, Socialism is such common sense that it is amazing that it has not been established worldwide. If nothing else, it would ensure that we would all have enough to eat”.
Question to any readers – what inspired you to blog?