Coming up to my 80th year, and having largely lost my mobility due to chronic illness, the Internet is proving to be a fascinating and mentally liberating resource even in a house with several thousand books on the shelves. The ability to exchange messages almost instantaneously with people all over the world is wonderful, and gives me hope that even in the sombre political climate we are currently living in, a far greater degree of understanding and co-operation between people of good will can be achieved and will ultimately prevail over hatred and destructiveness.
I started to post comments on The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ site about six months ago. I was feeling more and more depressed about the world situation, which seemed to be going from bad to worse, and hoped that I might find some reassurance that there was still some constructive thinking going on somewhere. What I did find was lots of ding-dong battles of the junior school playground “yah, boo, you started it first, no you did” variety, too much intemperate personal abuse of both blog posters and other commentators, and a quite unacceptable degree of site censorship through arbitrary removal of some posts and even banning of certain posters although other comments which blatantly breached the site’s own ‘talk policy’ guidelines were allowed to remain. This craven surrender by The Guardian – which has been staple reading for me since I was a teenager in WW2 – to the fashionable heresies of ‘Political Correctness’ was a severe disappointment, so in November, encouraged by
Furbishing the burrow with memories, anecdotes, and light-hearted items as well as more serious topics, and keeping it as what I hope is a cheerful and friendly place for my Awkward Squad colleagues and other visitors, has been a source of much pleasure and satisfaction. It will continue to be a snug retreat for anticant and friends. But the breadth of subject matter has, I think, discouraged as much in-depth examination and commentary on more serious and public issues as I’d hoped for. Hence my decision to open this arena, designed for debate of current politics, social issues, religion, philosophy, significant books, etc. as a serious but not, I trust, too solemn public forum.
Unlike the burrow, which is and will remain ‘free’ for comments from all comers, I shall moderate this site so as to ensure, if I can, that comments don’t stray too far from the subject of the thread. If anyone wants to post a blog here, I shall be happy to do so, providing it is relevant.
Now, read – and write – the blogs, join the fray!