Hello and welcome to my blog! I feel I should say a little about myself and the reason for my rambling and rhyming rather than just launch straight into the blogging part, so here we go.
Over the last couple of years I have become increasingly interested in politics and the way it affects people. My interest was originally sparked at University where I studied Sociology, to the great amusement of my housemates who maintain to this day that the sum total of my achievements was to accurately write “I am Pat”. I guess having a timetable of only four hours a week in my final year did nothing to dispel the myth that Sociology students are, well, dossers. And a dosser I was, I never once made it to my full schedule of lectures and tutorials, preferring to drink beer in the Union bar and play football. I was surprised and disappointed to only achieve a 2:2.
Despite my attempts at avoiding learning anything at University I did gain an awareness of the world, particularly inequality and I discovered a desire to influence things in a positive way. This desire brought me to becoming a Trainee Probation Officer where my education really began. I had originally been told that I would undertake the workplace-based part of my training in a borough that I knew well, not far from the leafy suburb where I grew up. I was dismayed and quite horrified to discover upon arriving on my first day that I had actually been placed in a tough, inner-city borough. I have since grown to be extremely thankful that this happened as I learned a huge amount from spending time in that place and meeting a very diverse group of people. Two-and-a-half years after qualifying I had the opportunity to join a Youth Offending Team, which had long been my ambition and even more happily, this is where I met my wife, Oz Girl.
Oz Girl had a profound impact on my understanding of politics and stirred in me a desire to influence things. I began to read as much and as often as I could on various political subjects, I formed strong ideas and joined the Green Party (I stood as a “paper candidate” for the local council in May 2010 elections, 321 people voted for me! Unfortunately Oz Girl romped home with 381 – neither of us are councillors).
Since the Coalition came into power I have become increasingly concerned and angry about the policies they are implementing, I have immersed myself in a struggle to resist some of what is going on. Due to the magnitude of the task and the powers we are fighting against, I have found this very frustrating and quite stressful, I am also struggling to learn when to switch off from the task at hand and have come to realise that the things you could do with this aim, never end and are largely thankless. However, I have also found that I can relieve my feelings of stress through writing and in particular creative writing and poetry. I posted some of my writings on Facebook (which will be re-posted here) and got a warm response which was very encouraging, so with some gentle encouragement I decided to start a blog. That just about brings you up to speed.
So the blog is about politics and how I see things, to make things a little more interesting I intend to throw in a link to a song that may or may not be relevant to the subject matter, for your listening pleasure while you read. I’m fairly confident that some of my like-minded pals will read this blog and maybe even comment. However I’m also really interested in the views of anyone with different political leanings and I’m up for a debate. I don’t pretend to have a huge wealth of political knowledge and I think one of the best ways a person can learn is to listen to other points of view. So please please, whatever crosses your mind about what I’ve said, whether positive or constructively critical, put it in a comment.
Before I continue (and I realise this is a blog, not an awards acceptance) I would like to thank my wonderful wife, for everything you’ve done for me. Even if I lose interest in this in four minutes time, without you I would never have the confidence to put my writing in the public sphere. Thank-you beautiful.