A question about politics from a reader in the UK has given me pause for thought. He emailed me to suggest that political bias influences some of what I write in this blog, pointing out the style of my commentary the other day criticizing the Number Ten podcast and my commentaries in the conversation about PR/journalism symbiosis a couple of months ago as examples.
One thing I don’t do in this blog is get into any kind of commentary or discussion about politics. I do have a Politics category but I don’t write about anything that’s to do with my own political leanings. I do not allow any political views of my own to influence what I write here. This is not a blog about politics; it’s primarily about business, communication and technology.
But my reader asked me directly where I sit in the political landscape, so here’s how I answered him in an email.
As an expat Brit, I still do have a very keen interest in what’s going on in my home country. I think Tony Blair is generally doing a pretty good job as leader. I also think the Lib Dems continue to be the joke of mainstream British politics. And I think David Cameron is the best thing that’s happened to the Conservatives since Labour took office nearly ten years ago, but I still can’t see them winning the next election.
I read The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. Not the Independent nor The Times (well, now and again). And definitely never the Daily Mail. I look at the Sun, Daily Mirror and the News of The World occasionally but that’s just to keep me amused. I subscribe to the Financial Times.
All of this mainstream media reading, incidentally, is done online even though all the papers are on the newsstands here in Amsterdam the same day of publication. The only paper I actually buy is Saturday’s Telegraph for the Motoring, Travel and Arts+Books supplements which keep me going all week at breakfast time. Great writing. Great columnists. Great journalism.
And I read many of the Guardian blogs and Telegraph blogs.
Does any of that tell you what my politcial beliefs are? Perhaps. But I bet you can’t pigeon-hole me. Which is fine with me.
Neville. I’m glad you posted this. I have just started a new blog called eDemocracy Update which aims to monitor and comment on the use of new and social media in building democracy, politics and development of public policy.
Again, this is a non-political enterprise and while comments have been from some with an open party political bias I think the idea of reporting on eDemocracy from an independent perspective is important and, as far as I am aware, something not being done by anyone else.
Thanks, Simon. I’ve had your new blog in my RSS reader since you started.
No Viz on your reading list Neville?
Like you Neville I’m an ex-pat but have no intention of ever returning to rip-off Britain. I loathe the political hypocrisy, the BS, crappy tax system, weather, crime rates, NHS, food and education system (in no particular order.)
I do love the Lake District, parts of Scotland and the odd corner of Wales. But as for the rest? Ferget it.
Someone offered me lunch in London today. My reply? Why would I swap lunch on our roof terrace overlooking the olive groves to one side and the town castle on the other on a clear blue sky day for air you can hardly breather?
Blair doing a good job? Blimey – now I KNOW you are the eternal optimist :)
It is worth pointing out that I am also an ex-pat…. living in England from my native Isle of Man where Sherrilynne has set up the first PR firm the place has ever had. And I thought the IOM Government had monopoly on who controls the media over there!!
[…] Neville Hobson has postedÂ his reading list and dared us all to guess his politcal persuasion.Â Well given his profession, you’d expect him to “read around” to keep a handle on all perspectives, so it’s not really a fair challenge.Â […]
I haven’t evolved from Private Eye yet, Sherrilynne :)
Lots not to like, Dennis, but more to like, I think. Political hypocrisy you’ll find anywhere so certainly no exclusivity on that in the UK. France especially comes to mind (thinking of EADS and Airbus in particular).
So we’re all expats, Simon. Reminds me of a good friend of mine, a Yorkshireman living in London. He definitely regards himself as an expat.