Opening Gambit

Well it’s happened. I’ve finally given in to the temptation to start writing down my thoughts. I felt a good place to start would be to explain why. I used to keep all my thoughts and ideas in a notepad. Whilst a good way to keep a record of my all to infrequent inspirational flashes the notepad wasn’t especially useful when it came to sharing its content. This has resulted in some of my better thoughts wallowing in obscurity (or in one case having been eaten by the cat, being consigned to oblivion).

I quickly graduated to the microblogging universe of twitter. From the stands of @lawriehooper I started to share my thoughts with the world.  I quickly gathered a veritable horde of followers (I should caveat this by noting that, whilst 28 people would not traditionally be constitute a horde, I felt for a relatively young and unassuming Manx politician this wasn’t a bad showing out of the gates) and began what I hope will become a serious commentary on the Manx political landscape.

Alas, twitter has its limitations. It is a great forum for sharing news articles and media, for sharing quips and brief statements and for highlighting the more obvious contradictions and hair brained schemes that Tynwald members regularly lay before the Manx public. However, the character limitation really can restrict the depth or strength of an argument where sometimes more space is needed to get to grips with the complexities. For example, it’s pretty hard to cram the reasons MHK’s should contribute to their pensions succinctly into 140 characters – “Because it’s the right thing to do!” – 35 characters – (hmm, maybe not the best example, some arguments clearly are pretty straightforward).

I felt that as an elected representative (for those who don’t know me, I’m a Ramsey Town Commissioner – http://www.ramsey.gov.im) my constituents deserved to know where I stood on issues when they happen, not just every time an election comes around, and without having to pick up the phone to ask.

I am also a member of Liberal Vannin (www.liberalvannin.org). Whilst the party has its own policies and ideas, many of which I agree with, I also wanted to be able to identify myself as an individual – to show that just because I’m part of a political party, it doesn’t mean I don’t have my own views.

So I hit upon the idea of starting an online blog. Somewhere I could record my views on current events and keep a public record (although I’m not entirely sure a public record is always going to make life easy for me!)

I have to admit that I took inspiration for starting this blog from a fellow twitter user Paul Speller (@norbertsdad) so I felt the least I could to would be to drop him a mention.

Everything I’m going to publish on this blog will be my own writing so please don’t think I’m representing the views of anyone else or any of the organisations i’m a part of. Occasionally I might write pieces where my thoughts coincide with those of Liberal Vannin, I’ll be careful to distinguish where this is the case.

Well that’s pretty much it for now. Feel free to leave comments or get in touch. I’m new to WordPress, so there’s bound to be some teething problems – any suggestions for improvements would be welcome!

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