Sunday, January 06, 2008

Why I 'Blog'

I blog because I quite like to write about what I happen to be thinking about - and I suppose it helps me arrange my thoughts in order. I'm particularly attracted to the bizarre, which might or might not amuse someone else. I do not blog to attract visitors, even though the readership is much higher than I ever expected it to be. I do admit that I rather like having visitors - and I like them to comment. Not many of them do though. I don't spend much time at my keyboard, but I try to post every day, and respond to comments whenever I can. I also like to read other blogs - probably about 10 on a daily basis, and another 20 at least once a week.

The comments I like best are those which set out to challenge my opinion, perhaps cause me to rethink my position. I've always thought it the height of arrogance to enter into any debate totally devoid of willingness to consider another opinion. It always struck me as odd that as an Assembly Member I was required to sit through debates, supposedly listening to the arguments, when we had already taken a 'group' decision about which way I was going to vote. I do accept that it is the way politics works - but this is my blog, not the Senedd debating chamber.

Some comments are great. I've just read an anonymous comment on my last post, which was about benefit reform, which challenges what I wrote in a way that stimulates me. Recently, a comment under the name of 'frankie' caused me to arrange a meeting with a local headmaster to discuss an issue about the distribution of condoms to schoolchildren, that I posted on. The profuse commenter, Dr Christopher North always has something interesting to say. Other comments are not so constructive - along the lines of 'I don't agree with you, so you must be an idiot and I'm not going to vote for you'. Of course, most blogs eliminate these sort of comments by 'comment moderation', a form of censorship that I do not want to resort to, if I can possibly help it. I even have comments which assume that unless everything I write is agreed, I am not worth the vote. I suspect that there isn't anyone that I agree with about everything.

And then there is the question of limited time, and the impact that has on my posts. There are other things I want to do with my life. Normally, when politicians prepare speeches or press statements, they take hours over it (though I admit that I didn't very often). A blog post often takes only the time needed to type it. Opinions are inevitably less considered, and more subject to amendment through debate and reconsideration. So, I hope you will carry on visiting, and commenting - and if you make a decent argument I might change my thinking - and then I might succeed in changing someone else's thinking. Its how the world makes progress.


johnny foreigner said...

glyn said....

"The comments I like best are those which set out to challenge my opinion, perhaps cause me to rethink my position."

johnny says....

Only too glad to be of service. Please see your previous posting.

Your pal.


frankie said...

I enjoy reading your blog Glyn, and I'm glad I've encouraged you to reassess some of your right wing (your words) views. But I can't see that meeting up with the Mr Toal will make any difference to anything - as you both sing from the same hymn sheet.

I hope you've read some of the letters in the County Times this week, as you will see, I'm not the only one who thinks Mr Toal was misguided.

Incidentally - it was not me who wrote the letter of the week, although I too am a retired health professional who has worked very closely with young people, so you could say, I do know what I'm talking about.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

“Dr Christopher North” – Glyn, how did you know my secret “sietch name"? I'll have a word with my buddy Ollie.

Glyn Davies said...

johnny - I have to admit that you are one who does so challenge.

frankie - the point is that once you get into a debate, you never know quite where your thinking is going to end up. I did note the letter in the County Times from Catriona Graham, whose opinion is always worth listening to.

Dr Wood - I wasn't concentrating. Sorry. Must have been thinking of Oliver North at the time

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work blogwise. This is one of my daily reads, unlike some more 'notable' UK blogs which I find too clique-ish. I don't agree with all of your views but I respect your honesty, and were I a constituent I would probably vote for you despite these differences. After all, if as my MP you were to do something I disagreed with I could always complain to you in first person here on your blog.

bethan said...

Where did the inspiration from this blog come from?! I would commment more, but time is of the essence as you know!

Glyn Davies said...

Sanddef - very 'courageous' of you to put your hard earned reputation on the line. I hope it doesn't cost you too many readers!

Bethan - 'Dunno' - as the witness says when he doesn't want to answer the question. But I will comment that I never condemn people for having an opinion, no matter how much I disagree with it - as long as they have a valid reason for holding it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Glyn,
I love your blog , it never feels forced.It's made me think why I started blogging and why I go on.
I started in response to a challenge by one of my daughters - put your money where your mouth is mam.Get your views out there.
I carry on. as like you it makes me think and read wider than the day job.
I also enjoy the quirky comments and comentators and miss Chris Glamorgan,cleckandra and Johnny - nice to see him comment here.
So here's to a challeging 2008 - bring it on :>)

Glyn Davies said...

vm - you and me both.