Is there any point in blogging? How this blog was used in Stirling Council

There are many people who (still!) wonder whether there is any point in blogging.  “Does it change anything?” they ask.  Well, apart from the number of readers that you might have (see below), even a little oft-neglected blog like this can have a role in wider circles than might be imagined.

Today my local paper, the Stirling Observer, published an article that mentioned me.  In fact, it did more than that.  It mentioned (though did not link to) this blog, and in particular the posting I wrote before this year’s Westminster elections about the different responses to my query to the SNP and Labour candidates on the question of indefinite detention of asylum seekers.  It’s worth going back to that posting and reading it again to see the generous response from Steven Paterson (SNP) and the racist response from Johanna Boyd (Labour): SNP and Labour on indefinite detention.  Of course, Mr Paterson won the election by a huge majority, and Ms Boyd was almost put into third place by the Conservatives.

Today’s Stirling Observer reported on a developing row in the city council over the current refugee crisis, and SNP councillors have picked up on my May blog posting and the way in which Labour’s Boyd now appears to have forgotten her racist track record.  Someone in the Stirling branch of the SNP has clearly kept a note of my blog posting, and used the comments Boyd made. Here is a scan of the article:

Stirling Observer, 11.9.15 (click for larger version)

Stirling Observer, 11.9.15 (click for larger version)

The SNP is picking up on Boyd’s racist comments from May, and contrasting them with her new-found concern for refugees now.  Of course, the SNP is calling this hypocrisy, and whilst she may have had a change of heart and moved away from her racist views, I see nothing in the article that really suggests the SNP is wrong in their assessment.

So next time you’re wondering if there’s any point to maintaining a blog and in particular whether it is really worth writing about politicians’ behaviour, remember this little incident.  Time will tell if Boyd’s racist comments can be countered by a change in attitude and behaviour, but her email to me now forms part of the public record, and even in that small way, this little blog has shown its worth.

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Just how little is this little blog?

I started this blog after the referendum in September 2014, and this is the 52nd blog post.  Some posts have been by guest authors, and almost 60,000 people have visited and read something here.  I think that’s not bad, considering I sometimes neglect it for weeks at a time, post a link to new articles on my Facebook page, and tweet each one a few times.  Apart from seeking to write thoughtfully, it’s not a lot of effort, and yet it’s clearly attracting some attention.  It’s good to know it interests some people.

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