Q. Hi there. Why are you doing this blog?
A. Because I can, and because I want to. Next question.
Q. Blimey, bit touchy aren’t we? Why so aggressive?
A. You’re asking me to explain why I’m exercising my right to free speech, which is a right people have literally died for. I don’t need a reason. You need a reason why I shouldn’t exercise it. A fucking good reason. Can you think of a fucking good reason why I shouldn’t exercise it?
Q. I ask the questions. Let’s just move on. What do you hope to achieve with this blog?
A. Actually thinking what I think, because writing stuff down really forces you to organise your thoughts in a coherent way. Obviously I want people to read it too, and I hope to inspire them (to do good rather than bad), or to change their opinions, or even just to get them thinking about things they hadn’t thought about before.
Q. What’s your real name, what do you look like, where do you live, and what’s your phone number?
A. Do you want my clothes and my motorcycle boots, too? None of your business. I’m telling you my innermost thoughts, and I think that’s enough. Don’t you?
Q. Will you respond quickly if I email you?
A. Yes. I don’t get out much.
Q. Why such a basic website? Are you a technophobe?
A. I’m not a technophobe but I am lazy. For the time being I just want to concentrate on the writing but it’s possible I might jazz things up in the future. It’s also possible I might not.
Q. Why no comments function? For someone who claims to love freedom of speech so much that’s not really in the spirit of a free and open exchange of ideas.
A. Fair point but like I say, I’m lazy. I don’t want the hassle of moderating. Besides, just knowing someone else other than my mum is actually reading this shit (hi mum!! I told you I’d be on the internet one day!!!!) makes me feel all warm inside. You’re free to discuss my posts on your blog or anywhere else and I hope you do, whether you agree with what I say or not.
Q. Can I link to your blog?
A. Of course you can, but thanks for asking. Just don’t copy and paste my work and try to pass it off as your own or someone else’s because that’s rude. You can also “re-blog” a post as long as it’s for non-commercial purposes and you make it clear where it came from.
Q. Do you have any journalism training?
A. Right, now you’re just taking the piss. Unless you class the combination of a ‘B’ grade in GCSE English, a half-read book about journalism and the ability to use the unimpeachable and flawless resources of Google and Wikipedia as “journalism training”, no I don’t have any “journalism training”.
Q. Do you have any advice?
A. Yes. When getting out of a lift always let women go first, because that way you can have a really good look at their arse.
Q. I meant advice for people thinking of starting their own blog.
A. Oh right. Just do it because it’s really not that difficult. You probably write everyday as part of your job without even thinking of that as writing. Just imagine how many emails, how many documents, how many Powerpoint presentations you might churn out in an average week at work. Trust me, you’re not as useless as you think. It’s a shame to have a good idea and not record it, especially if others might find it interesting. Have a little notebook (I mean the paper type but you could also use an electronic one, or your phone) and keep it in the living room or by your bed or wherever. As you get an idea for an article just jot it down and try to get five or six bullet points. I find that’s generally enough for a blog post. Have a separate section of the notebook where you jot down funny or original phrases you think of, either issue-specific or generic or both, which you can use in future articles. I really should be charging for this.
Q. What are your views on the EDL and Tommy Robinson?
A. Oh I thought you’d ask me that; I’m just surprised you spent so long throat-clearing. Listen, it’s complicated, and anyone who doesn’t think it’s complicated is a moron (no offence) in search of simple answers to difficult questions. Here’s my advice, and I hope you take it. Go and put the kettle on. Make yourself a cup of tea and a nice sandwich. Then sit down and read this then this (and watch the six YouTube links) then this then this and finally this. Or if you can’t be bothered and you just like simple answers: “not telling”.
Q. Why the adverts for Christian speed dating and Islamic finance providers? They don’t really seem to fit in with some of the themes of the blog.
A. Ah yes, that will be the automatically-generated Google Ads. At first I found them annoying but now I just find them funny. (Keep working on the code, Google – you’re sort of there.)
Q. Why did you stop blogging in December 2013?
A. Because I couldn’t be arsed anymore. I got bored. Sorry. Forgive me. Please?
I think my output of three to four blog posts a month for roughly three years of my life was a reasonable one for someone trying to hold down an actual job, and who didn’t have the slightest clue what he was doing at the start of this process and probably still didn’t by the end of it.
I’m biased but I think this is a reasonable body of work I’ve created, and I’m reasonably proud of it. It’s something that will still be here even when I’m not. Think of it as a gift but please, there’s no need to thank me.
If you don’t like anything I’ve written then don’t read it, and if you think I’m wrong about anything I’ve said then you can write your own blog posts clearly debunking my arguments one by one, with better arguments of your own. That’s how it works.
Alternatively you could smear me, you could find me guilty in absentia of guilt by association with whoever or whatever you want, you could attack my character, or you could generally do anything that involves avoiding the need to change your mind or to think for yourself. And if you want to call me names like “racist” then all I would say is this: please show me one thing I have said or done that is actually racist.
If you’re incapable of defeating my arguments, especially the “controversial” ones, then perhaps you would be kind enough just to stay silent and leave me alone when the pitchforks start to encircle me – and I predict with 100% certainty that they eventually will.
There’s sometimes moral integrity in staying silent but there’s never, ever moral integrity in joining the herd just because everyone else is – especially when you disagree with the herd or you don’t understand what the herd is doing.
If I’m guilty of anything on this blog, it’s being too honest and thinking too much. Last I checked there were far worse crimes. But then we know what Orwell said about speaking the truth.
So long, and thank you to everyone who has read this blog and helped to share it.
It’s been emotional.