Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts from the Train: is this blog just an attention-seeking self-indulgence?

It has been suggested to me in the past that blogging is merely a means of saying "Look at me! Look at me!" in cyberspace, an attempt to find a place in the sun. 

And I suppose, in their way, they're right. I hold a minor public office, which is for the most part dealt with by my other blog, I hold an obscure bureaucratic position at the Regional level of a political party, my job is, for the most part, covered by the Official Secrets Act. Not obviously the basis for a riveting read, perhaps. To make matters worse, I write in a style which can only be described as cautious. I am, after all, a civil servant, prone to avoiding extremes, abuse and hyperbole.

Blogging is also resource-intensive. I spend valuable time blogging when I could be doing other things, although I have got better about that, thanks to the BlackBerry and the laptop (he writes, as his train hurtles through Essex...). Sometimes, I find myself drafting a post on a subject that, on reflection, I'd be better off not touching with the proverbial bargepole - more wasted time.

However, it does give me an audience, a means of influencing others. It also acts as a conduit for people to find me, as happened this afternoon. I, like a number of Liberal Democrat bloggers I suspect, received an e-mail from an intern at the Independent on Sunday, James Burton, which read,

"Dear Mark,

I'm putting together a piece on the Liberal Democrat grassroots' view on the coalition four months on and after two local elections. I've been reading your blog, and was wondering if this is something you'd like to comment on.

Do you feel the coalition is a cause for commiseration, or celebration?

Please give me a call any time today (before, say, 10 pm) if you'd like to comment.

Many thanks,


It isn't the first time that this has happened to me. However, I'm not really a grassroot, and it seemed a bit unfair to pretend otherwise, so I rang him, explaining why I could only really respond with "no comment". But it does remind me that, as part of the spectrum of Liberal Democrat membership, 'Liberal Bureaucracy' represents a viewpoint that should be heard.

So, the blog continues, with its mission to explain the bureaucracy, explore some of the issues of the day, and to give those who don't know me a taste of what it is to be a Liberal Democrat, a parish councillor and a bureaucrat. Besides, if I leave it to the rest of you, the world will assume that we're all Doctor Who obsessives...

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I have mousy roots...