Why put up with the grief that writing a blog guarantees I’ll get?

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I have already mentioned that I spent some of yesterday at an event at Queen Mary, University of London, discussing the future of water companies in England and Wales.

Whilst I was there I was questioned by one of the academics present as to why I expose myself to so much personal stress as a consequence of writing this blog, posting videos, and other social media activity.

This being an academic event, I suggested that my motivation for writing this blog is that we are subject to a hegemonic political system that is only presenting the people of this country with a neoliberal view that I am quite certain is detrimental to the well-being of most people in this country, and beyond. As a consequence, I think it my job to use my best efforts to critique that system and provide suggestions as to alternative ways in which our economy might be organised to deliver better outcomes for the vast majority of people in the UK and elsewhere. As long as the current position of economic oppression of the majority persists, I cannot see a reason to change what I do.

That satisfied the question on motivation, but not the one on the management of stress. I offered a number of cliches in response.

One often-said statement is that you cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg, and I have broken a few.

Alternatively, George Bernard Shaw once observed that the reasonable person bends themselves to the ways of the world, whilst the unreasonable person seeks to bend the world to their own ways. Therefore, he suggested, all progress is dependent upon the existence of the unreasonable person. By that definition, I am definitely unreasonable and am unapologetic for being so. That does inevitably mean that I do, on occasion, upset people.

Some commentators here have noticed this late, and do appear to have been irritated with me for doing so.

It is never my desire to upset commentators.

But equally, given the range of topics that I will raise where I think I have sufficient experience to comment and suggestions to make as to alternatives, then it is inevitable it will happen sometimes.

It's not personal. It's just going to happen.

When it does, I try to make my reaction very different to that which I offer to trolls. They come here to irritate. I treat them as irritation. Many of them never make it onto the blog at all. My degree of tolerance for potential troll comments has now fallen to a very low level, and I don't make any apology for that,

To everyone else, all I can ask for is a little understanding. I will always post you, even when you disagree with me. But don't be surprised if I point out the disagreement.

Tomorrow will mark the 18th anniversary if the first publication of a post on this blog. In a very real sense, the blog will come of age.

In the time since then there have been a lot of posts. This will be the 21,772nd. That is an average of 3.3 per day, every day, 365 days a year since I began.

Sometimes, and only because of the comments, this does feel wearisome. That said, I do accept that on occasions I make mistakes, and I do acknowledge them. However, that is the inevitable consequence of exploring ideas, not every one of which will work. I will keep doing that. Critiquing the failure of the current political failure within the UK appears to be an essential thing to do.

Please feel free to disagree, but unless you are trying to troll, please don't berate my efforts, per se. Please play the issue, not the person. I am doing my best, even if it is not always good enough.

Amongst the things that I seek to create is a safe place where differences can be discussed, openly and honestly. Those spaces appear to be incredibly rare on the web. I can only continue to do that if it feels worth the effort to do so, and despite the data, I am human. It will only be worth continuing if I am not worn down in the process.

The person who asked me the question raised a good point. This is my response.

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