Having lost the time and the confidence to write opinions down, prefering the safe structure and indulgence of a book review, I’m picking up the preverbial pen again and dusting down the soap box. If you’d prefer just books or travel chronicles then feel free to use the menu to filter things accordingly.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t having opinions, I just didnt feel adequate at phrasing them and wasn’t quite robust enough for other people having opinions back at me (which is either a Catlin Moran or Hadley Freeman phrase, let me check) . I was also not entirely sure that this was the right venting vehicle but then I spent a week in near solitude reading and listening to the radio and had the full range of ‘couldn’t agree more’ to ‘how can you say that? look at the facts!’ and now I’m falling over myself to join in.
I’m laying me down a few ground rules:
Open Source – I like facts. They have this lovely way of making a point seem considered and reliable even though the whole UK EU referendum debate (read debacle) has neatly demonstrated how open they are to misrepresentation and misinterpretation and, just occasionally, being plucked from thin air (or , you know, an academic paper that plainly states these figures should not be used to suggest the exact thing you’re claiming they support *glares at Mr Hunt*). Statistics, like chips, should always come with sources and I’ll include links where I can.
Open Mind (or Persuasion) – Differences of opinion are fair enough, we all view the world through slightly different lenses, shaped by our circumstances and experiences. Discussion helps us understand why we disagree, resolve issues, and make progress – arguements do not. Having opinions is not worth much without listening to other opinions and trying to understand eachother’s viewpoint. I hold with Sally Kohn’s idea of emotional correctness (Let’s try emotional correctness) If we dont agree, shouting loudly does nothing. Play nice.
PRIDE not Prejudice – The right to express opinions only holds while it respects other’s rights. Discrimination is not an opinion, it’s a violation.
Sense and sustainability – I’m going to try and be succinct and keep points short – linking to articles where people have said it already (and with more flair, conviction and better grammar). That and if each post becomes a long old ramble we will all get fed up and go home.
on that note…