And back, to the Blogging on Demand
meme, which is proving remarkably fun for me. matgb
wants to know:
Given your strong views, why you're not more involved politically, either parties or issue groups.
The short answer is: I have no time. The self-deprecating but somewhat honest answer is that it's easier for me to be strident and opinionated in words at the pub and in a livejournal than to actually do anything - I'll just say things loud enough and someone else will do the doing, right?
The wordy answer is that:
I cannot trust any one party or issue group to accurately represent me as an individual and to cater for my concerns. One day I may agree with the Lib Dems' official line on how "homophobic bullying is wrong, mmkay?" but that doesn't mean I agree with their policy on Iraq or ID cards (please note: I'm not saying I do or don't. These are merely Hot Topics right now.) However, 'being involved' in the Lib Dems would, to me, sign me up to all and every Lib Dem stance whether I agreed (or knew enough to have an opinion) or not.
Later on Blogging on Demand I may talk about religion, and how organised groups appear to me, who subscribes to none. Members of any one church are, by being
members, endorsing every official line that Church takes. This is why, I suspect, so many people call themselves 'non-denominational', because no one organisation does it right for them in terms of, oh I dunno, evolution and the gays, for example.
The first "issue group" I was "involved" with was the RSPCA, of which I was a junior member back when I was yay tall. Of course my first 'issue' was animal rights. You didn't think I was a vegetarian at thirteen because I was well versed on the sociopolitical ramifications** of large scale meat production, did you? Anyway, I used to read up on all sorts of animal issues in the magazine, and it was fun and educational, but it was a very biased fun and educational thing. "This is good. This is bad." All what you'd expect from a magazine published by an animal rights organisation, but when I was just coming into adolescence, I began paying attention to the tone things were taking, and I didn't like that this authoritative voice on what is moral and immoral actually had dissenters in other areas. As I became an adult, I never voluntary joined another issue-inclined organisation, because I wanted to make up my own mind.
I believe very strongly in making up one's own mind over every issue individually. Not subscribing wholesale to a full set of opinions and lines set forth by The Man, even if he's a man you chose.
[I can almost hear the comment notifications arriving, and I'm tempted to leave it there just so the most commented post on my front page isn't the frivolous chocolate picspam.]
I appreciate that's it's not
like that for anyone who belongs to an issue group or political party. I understand the power of working together, and sometimes it may be necessary to bend to the whip on minor subjects so one can have a larger collective voice on the important (to you, the individual) things. I understand that being a member of a political party doesn't mean you check your independant thought at the door, but freethinking is the most important thing to me ever
, and I am not willing to compromise it in any way. I'm going to vote in the election this year for Red Ken, cause I like his smile
the candidate who best represents my views this year
and looks more likely to deliver, regardless of party.* When the General election rolls around, I'm going to vote for the candidate/party combination that best represents my interests, priorities and views at the time
, regardless of which party that is. I doubt it'll be the Tories, but that's beside the point. I will not feel pressured because of my involvement with a party to vote for that party.
And really, with Issue Groups - what the hell would I choose? Gay Rights campaigning? Then who would fly my flag for truth in the media? Feminism? Then what about my strong anti-racism views? What about freedom of thought and expression? What about animal rights? What about global warming? What - and here you may imagine me clasping my bosom*** dramatically - WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN
? If I become more active in trying to assert my right to marry who I like, who's going to write blog posts to ensure they get a thorough education in biology?****
But mostly because I have no time.*Though, yes, initially I voted for Ken because he was an independent. Shut up and don't expect me to be rational.
**I love when I can use 'sociopolitical ramifications' with only a minimal sense of irony.
*** Heee. 'Bosom'
**** Yes, yes, I know. P.Z. Myers. Not the point.