Thursday, 3 January 2008

A manifesto, of sorts

"My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel — it is, before all, to make you see."

This is emphatically not what I am about. That takes prodigious talent - or prodigious conceit.

Masking a paucity of originality with literary quotes is exactly the kind of pretension I want to avoid. Asserting that I alone I know needs to be known, and that you need to know it is not what I want to do. Far from it.

I have a standpoint, and a place from which I view things. I want to record what I think, and, if I have anything of value to say, perhaps be allowed to participate in debate.

Why now? Well, the technology lets me, but also because I am at a new stage in my life. My baby son is weeks old and is changing me and how I see the world. It will be interesting to chart this journey.

So, what is my standpoint? I wouldn't for a moment claim that I'm unique, but in me I am aware of some interesting tensions and perhaps insights. As any good materalist will tell you they come from who I am. Since leaving university I have worked in the public sector during some very interesting times. As a student, I studied history and English literature. A rewarding, and ultimately academically successful time in my life. I am a member of the Labour Party. I was born in Bristol, and raised in the West Country, to which friends will tell you that I have an unusually strong attachment, despite having spent the last decade living in London, now in Lewisham.

Hence, non-provincial lives, an echo of Flaubert (whoops, I've already broken my golden rule against literary pretension), as I survey a largely metropolitan vista from a vantage point built upon provincial and lower middle class foundations. Whether the labels are relevant or even ridiculous is for another day. I've explained the name, and that was my intent.

Beyond that, I'm not going to say who I am. If you know me, you will have already guessed - but keep it to yourself.

What I am going to write about will probably end up a moveable feast. Be certain, though, that this blog, if not any reader, will be blessed by my thoughts on politics, culture, the places I know, with an occasional foray into sport.

Part of my motivation is that I want to write differently and to write better. This is my chance to find my own style. I am looking forward to seeing if I can achieve this.

Will anyone will care enough to be its witness? Well, this remains to be seen.

No comments: