Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Is Politics the Last Blogging Taboo? #GE2015

Last week I blogged and Facebooked (is that a verb?!) about our political standpoint, and got hauled over the (very hot) coals for doing so.  There was also a HUGE amount of support, and thank you for that, but a lot of people felt rather affronted and aggrieved that I had dared to nail my bright red colours to the mast.

Ironic use of famous painting (scroll down for calming cat picture)

In the week leading up to the General Election, I lost around a hundred fans on Facebook, and I haven't yet checked to see if our subscriber numbers are down.  I'm rather proud of my hard-won, beloved near-4000 so I hope not!  But the thing is, I wasn't entirely sure why people were leaving.

Of course, one might not like to see oppositional politics in the daily Facebook feed, or to read posts which criticise the ghastly incumbent of Number 10, but I have never made any secret of the fact that everything on this site, and its associated social media, will be subject to a hefty dose of (often controversial) opinion.  It's even in the disclaimer right down there at the bottom.  Go and have a read, I'll be right here when you get back.

Done?  Still here?  Great!

Where was I?  Ah yes, some of the messages and comments I had were along the lines of "F off, it's a parenting page, love".  Erm, no.  If anything this is a lifestyle blog, and hopefully I addressed the question of why Attachment Mummy last week.  (And please don't call me 'love'!)

I've never been very good at being pigeon-holed and, like most authentic humans, I am a mass of contradictions.  This blog is a reflection of that: a bit pf parenting, but also baking, fashion, politics, 11+ revision, cooking, pension planning, competitions and family life - and that's just this month!

The neatest category I can squeeze this magazine of ours into is lifestyle: our life, our style.

And I'm afraid that's always going to come with a hefty dose of opinion on the side.  If you're only here for the competitions, great, welcome!  But there will be plenty of opinion and other stuff too.  And if you're only here for the parenting, I'm afraid you may have to put up with the C word a lot too - yep, we talk about cake, Christmas and even sometimes that ____ Cameron :-)

Bizarrely, it turns out talking about politics was a rare thing last week, on blogs and social media anyway.  In my first election-focussed post, I had a comment and several messages from fellow bloggers about my 'bravery', which really surprised me.  It seems that politics for your average blogger is something of a taboo.  Most bloggers steered well clear of the subject.

My question would be, how can you?  Just like, how can you NOT vote?

In fact, there has been more discussion and comment after the event than before, quite the wrong way round surely?!  You can't change the past but, when the opportunity is there, you can attempt to change the future.

How could I not try to do my bit to make a difference?  And actually, it worked.  The messages I have had from people have brought tears to my eyes.  People have joined the Labour party, people have chosen to vote for the first time in 20 years, people have done their research and changed their vote.  And of that I am proud.  And do you know what?  Next time I will do the same.  Maybe more.

It looks like we're going to need to as, unfortunately, of the 2/3 of adults who chose to vote, 34% believed the Tory promise.  With a campaign based on hollow rhetoric that blamed a former government for an entire global financial crisis, and scaremongering about haggis-wielding malcontents from over the border, they swept their odious leader back into Downing Street.  We can but pray that the disabled, the poor, the feckless and the jobless of our country survive another 5 years of Tory rule, undoubtedly with ever punitive and Draconian punishments for those who need the most help.

You may disagree with me entirely, and if I follow you, feel free to fill my Facebook timeline with your opinion and thoughts.  But ultimately, I have worked for over three years to build some level of influence here and on social media.  What kind of person would I be if I didn't use that to talk about the things I believe in?  To push forward certain charities, and beliefs, and viewpoints?  Yes, I may end up with 3 followers, but at least I'll be able to sleep easy knowing I stood up for what I believe in.

If you want politics-free, there are plenty of other blogs out there.  If you want pro-formula and pro-controlled crying, I'm sure they're there too.  If you want purely look at my lovely family aren't we wonderful, there are definitely lots of those.*

If you want all sorts of chat about all sorts of topics, some great competitions, and a hefty dose of opinion and controversy from time to time, stay right here.

Now, somebody put the kettle on, all pull up a chair, and tell me what you think about the new series of Big Brother.

Calming cat picture, as promised

P.S. If you are still here, thank you.  Whether you agree with everything I say or not, you are very welcome here.

P.P.S. If you feel like keeping the numbers up and you don't subscribe already, the box is right back up at the top there - see you on the other side! Lx

* Heck some bloggers will tell you about their sex life, share intimate, emotional letters to their children, and show you what they wore to granny's funeral (including underwear).  But they won't talk about their politics.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

12 comments :

  1. Political blogging would certainly be more controversial, and partisan.

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  2. Once again, I agree with what you said 100%. And I would agree with you on this regardless of your personal politics. of course politics belongs on a parenting blog, and on any blog where the blogger feels inclined to include it. Or do people honestly believe that politics will not affect the lives of our future generations?

    Where I live I know one UKIP councillor (a friend, and great guy, in spite of his horrible political leanings) who got his car damaged because of his politics. Also, our lady mayoress had a brick through her window for displaying a Labour poster. It is disgraceful and shameful that anyone is attacked, physically or verbally, for their political views. I may not agree with what you say (although I usually do) but I will defend until death your right to say it.

    Best wishes

    Louise

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  3. My blog is primarily where-we-are-in-our-caravan and book reviews, but I did a couple of political posts and, like you, was surprised how many other bloggers didn't. Even the fashion bloggers missed a trick by not posting their 'voting outfits'! This blog is your space to write what you want.

    Seriously though, May 7th might well be a day that defines Britain for the foreseeable future and for so many to keep their heads in the sand was heartbreaking. It's important to talk about our country and I think my blog will be develop a strong political slant over the coming months. There's going to be an awful lot of petitions to sign and share.

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  4. I for one appreciated your truthfulness and insight. This current political climate has made my life very difficult. Nice to see blogging that isn't purely sugar coated. This is real life and shouldn't be ignored. Thank you and keep up the good work! @JuJu_Carbo JuJu Cardboard on Facebook xxxx

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  5. I liked more of your comments etc during the run-up to the election then post it than at any other time. The reason was your political comments. I had Conservative supporters jump down my throat just for suggesting I would support Labour (never any other party mind - must be an arrogance connected with being Tory!) & I liked the fact that you used your page to state your views regardless of what people do as a result. Why should you be any less entertaining for them because you support someone different? If you were Conservative I wouldn't stop following you - I just wouldn't 'like' your comments!
    Politics isn't taught in schools, as it should be & we British seem to want it to be a private matter & there's the problem. How can there be honest & openness in politics if we are expected to not have an interest or understand? The more we speak out the more it becomes a public issue.
    Keep it up & stuff anyone who bases their interest in your blog etc on your political leanings!

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  6. It is your blog. Write what you like and bollocks to anyone who doesn't like it. People don't have to agree with your point of view but we should all respect your right to have one and voice it. X

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  7. Blogs are for opinions, it's great to read everyone's views so never shy away from that.

    Rosy | sparklesoflight76.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. It's amazing that some people think they know what you should be blogging about, and pigeonhole you into a narrow niche. How dare you talk about politics, love, keep to the inoffensive topics of cats, smiley babies and reviews, or we'll leave you. Quelle horreur! Well, if you lost those patronising bigots as FB followers, then it's only for the better.

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  9. It is funny how polarising politics can be, isn't it. It really does make people uncomfortable. I was a bit surprised how few people blogged about it so very brave you did although bizarre how people felt the need to unfollow you. I think it must be taboo. It must be an incredibly tough job being in parliament - trying to cater to so many people's needs. It's pretty thankless. Not everyone will be happy but I really respect politicians as a whole - who make hard decisions, who are trying to give people a better life. #MBTW

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  10. Love this post!! I find it utterly baffling that people think politics doesn't come into every area of our lives (and therefore has a perfect place on your blog)... How can you write a parenting blog without commenting on how the political landscape affects you? Or a lifestyle blog? Or whatever kind of blog... Every time you comment on the price of food, budgeting to make ends meet, trying to buy your first home, the education your kids are getting, that time you had to go to A&E, or the news article that has you so angry etc, you touch on politics. Whether you vote or not, your life is still affected by those in power and the political play between the government and the opposition. I don't think people understand that, though, because we aren't encouraged to think that way.

    I do think that some of it is also due to how new blogging is in relation to old media sources like newspapers and tv or radio programmes. Nobody bats an eyelid when the front page of the newspaper has a clear political stance, yet if a blogger does the same there are gasps of horror. I only hope that as time goes on and the blogging world develops more understanding and respect for the influence it actually has, people will begin to accept that politics most definitely has its place here.

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  11. Love this post, and agree with you entirely. Both your points about why you should be able to discuss politics, & your views on this god awful Tory government! I'm actually quite interested, even if your blog WAS only about parenting, why people would think it would not be valid to discuss politics and elections. Do our political views not influence our children? Does the government we have not affect the lives of our kids? Shouldn't the Tory decimation of the state school system be a concern to parents?

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  12. I had no idea that parenting bloggers could get criticised for blogging about politics, it hasn't happened to me yet, but perhaps I am blogging to the converted :)

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