A Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day

A Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day May 9, 2021

I recently wrote a piece analysing my feelings about and dissecting the local elections in the UK. This was actually shared a number of times across the Internet locally because people of certain political persuasions thought it carried value. About 50% of my writing more recently has been political in nature. It’s what I do – I write. I am a writer. It is presently my main job. I am an author, blogger and philosopher.

Jim Dailey, to exemplify one sort of person who comments here, is a commenter who almost always writes terribly unconstructive comments. I let his comments go in light of being a mug wanting to foster a freedom of expression and to motivate discussion from different sides of any given coin. It doesn’t always work.

His reply to my piece was this:

Did you go out and campaign for your candidate? Knock on doors? Talk to people in your voting district?

Or are you just moaning on yet another internet blog to people who can’t help you at all? Bellyaching about “fair treatment” (which seems to be your favorite whine lately?)

Go out and DO something. Oh, I forgot. As a skeptical atheist, your purview is complaining about circumstances, since actually doing anything leads to criticism.

Of course, I pointed out to him that I was disabled, and so walking around knocking on doors isn’t quite within my ability range. I also used to sit on a committee for a local political activism group, have campaigned door-to-door, worked on the local Alternative Vote referendum campaign, and was asked to run as a local Green Party candidate.

He replied:

Quit whining. Figure out how to get face time with your neighbors. My wife is disabled and figured it out and is politically active and actually influences local elections.

Call the candidate and ask how you can help (other than moaning about the results after the election.). They will surely find something useful for you to do.

I also told him that I used to be a teacher, and teaching politics and citizenship was part of my remit. And when I retired from teaching with ill-health, I applied for a job in Stephen Morgan’s (the Labour MP in one of the Portsmouth constituencies) campaign team.  I also helped a little for the Labour candidate in my local area in the last general election. I give public talks, I do YouTube videos, I spread my message. We don’t knock on doors so much these days – not so effective. I virtually knock on doors. Accusing me of “whining” is to accuse the door-0knocker, whom you claim I should be, is whining.

Which is also to say that this man knows nothing about what I do locally. But, primarily, I am a writer. My political activism is through what I write in hope that people read it, become motivated by it or enjoy it enough to share it so that it has impact.

I was actually pretty angry with him. And perhaps this prompted him to reassess his tactics because he then wrote clearly the most constructive comment he has ever written. He even dipped into a little Socratic dialectic. A broken clock is right twice a day, or in this case, once a year:

Ok. So what is your team doing wrong? You maintain the message is correct, so it must be the delivery. You are part of the team delivering the message. What were your mistakes[?]

This is such a worthy question. One worth asking and one worth answering, and one that I hope to answer in an upcoming post.

This is the sort of discussion we should be having on the threads, not slinging mud at each other, for which I can be guilty too.


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