Why Start A Political Blog ?

I’m a 55 year old man who has always taken a keen interest in politics and economics and I have been guided by my socialist upbringing in the northern east of England. I’m no great authority on politics or economics, but I am educated to ‘A’ level standard in both subject matters and believe I have a decent understanding of them. I have always enjoyed discussions with family and friends on the subjects, but I have never felt compelled to express my opinions to a wider audience, until now.

The reason being is I see a disturbing trend of people being disillusioned with the state of society and its politics/politicians and they feel detached from it. I hear people say that nothing changes regardless of who is in power. This detachment from politics and apathy towards our politicians poses a serious threat to our democracy and very much a serious threat to how the world deals with and recovers from the pandemic. These issues make me feel compelled to try to help people, in my own little way, to re-engage with politics.

The basis of democracy is that we all born equal and that equality must be accepted by those in power. Throughout history people have had to fight for these democratic rights and have been imprisoned and tortured by those in power in an attempt to retain their power. Their struggles should never be forgotten and it is imperative that society keeps up the pressure to maintain this hard fought for democratic control. People should never get complacent and believe that democracy is a birth right and a guarantee. As the saying goes ’there is never a final victory’ and each generation must continue to fight to maintain democracy time and time again. If people do not use their democratic rights then they risk losing it. History has shown us that the democratic rights that have been won can only be won collectively and it is only with collective actions it can be maintained. That means large scale political engagement, by the masses and not just a few, and mass voting.

There is also a more sinister issue that can emerge through political apathy. The rise of opportunist populists and demigods. Recent history should not be forgotten and the rise of populists like Mussolini and Hitler can be largely attributed to a lack of political understanding and an apathy towards their established political elites. If people lose faith in their political leaders they start to look for alternatives, which appear more appealing, but can often be found to be a far worse option. I’m sure many people would not have believed, just a decade ago, that the likes of Donald Trump would be elected the leader of the world’s most powerful democratic nation. That is populism in action and it can have serious consequences.

If people stop engaging in politics then the ruling political parties will happily run the country without public oversight and can easily dictate to us rather than engage with us. A healthy democracy requires ALL of society (particularly the working classes) to be educated and engaged in its politics and ensure that our governors are held accountable.

I believe that many peoples disillusionment with politics, comes from a lack of understanding of how political systems and economic systems work. This and poor quality information from media sources, who are not interested in educating the population in such matters, but are happy to just manipulate them for either political or financial purposes. It is fully understandable how the general public are blindsided on these matters as the media, and governments, are happy to limit debate to specific issues rather than overall systemic analysis. If the public were to have a better understanding of basic economic principles and be more informed in political analysis then that would empower people and make it so much easier to make governments more accountable and as such, make it much ‘harder for them to govern’ us. Hence, the title of the blog!

I want this blog to be helpful in throwing a spotlight on specific issues that will provide some understanding of the relevance of economics to us all and to help provide further political awareness, so that we can all be better informed and hopefully lead people to be more engaged.

I will state that, for the most part, this will be an apolitical blog. I want to provide nonbiased political analysis that highlights issues with political systems and generic economic policies rather than supporting a specific party. Although, quite often that can appear biased against a specific governing party that is not the intent. (It is sometimes difficult to blame a non-governing/opposition party for a countries political direction or economic policy when they did not implement it). So naturally the criticism will more often be of a governing party, but not specifically because of a political affiliation. I will create a specific section on the blog where I will post my personal political opinions, but that will be kept separate from articles that are informational and therefore apolitical/unbiased.

I intent to post articles that are, hopefully, informative on political principles and not just articles on specific daily issues, which are widely covered by the media and other websites. I have already stated the importance of understanding these principles and I want to highlight how these ultimately dictate how our current capitalist system works and consequently the way they help determine a governments economic, domestic and foreign policies. For example, if you do not understand some basic historical economics then you may believe the propaganda some politicians have spun, telling you that the reason for their austerity programs, over the last decade, were due to some political parties mismanagement of their economies. Simply ignoring the fact that it was down to the capitalist banking crisis in 2008 that ushered in the era called the ‘great recession’. A catastrophic systemic event that affected the entire planet and had no association to any specific political party,but was systemic!

I find it worrisome that the majority of the population have no idea how money is created even though this is fundamental to how a society’s monetary system works and yet, they will have an opinion on government spending and the importance of balancing the countries books! If you have no understanding of money then how can you have a discussion on economic policies?

So, educating yourself on how the worlds capitalist system works is fundamental to understanding why your countries politicians make the decisions they do and it will give you the information you need to be able to make informed political decisions for yourself rather than being spoon feed political propaganda from either the media or your countries politicians.

We should be all open to being better informed, no matter what your level of understanding of a topic, and I obviously include myself in that statement. It is vitally important that we all try to have a good understanding of our economic and political history to be able to apply the lessons learned from it or we will simply risk repeating history. This is a recent history that has seen democracy threatened, demigods arising and extreme far right ideology arise, on multiple occasions, and throughout the last century has led us into world wars.

In 2021, political engagement is more important now than ever before as the world needs to find a progressive path out of the Covid-19 crisis and deal with the consequences of global warming. It will be our democratically elected politicians and governments that will be making the decisions that determine our futures. The importance of finding a balanced and progressive path is reliant on how our democracies deal with the economic and political fallouts and it is up to the people, who put them into power, to ensure they manage this effectively on our behalf.

So, you should never stop attaining knowledge to allow yourself to make better informed political decisions. We need to ensure we have the right people elected into power to be able to govern us out of this and future crisis’ and we must be informed enough to be able to hold our politicians to account for the decisions they make on our behalf.

I hope that anyone reading this blog learns something that may help them in their understanding.

Let us all be better informed so our democratically elected governors find it ‘Hard to Govern’!