Today, the Political Idealist celebrates its first anniversary. Both the blog and the world I use it to examine have changed radically over the past 12 months. I can say that my little attempt to shape the political universe has very much reshaped my perspective on it.
The first thing that I’ve learned is how great the blogosphere is. Millions of people use WordPress to share their views and work on everything from photography to parenting to politics. And using the blogging platform, I’ve found that almost everybody is friendly and happy to chat or debate. And a community with so many interests, constituents from all walks of life, and with such an international feel is bound to broaden your horizons.
Though my writing is narrowly focused on politics, the reading I do certainly isn’t. I’ve learned about the Mars Colonisation Project, the trials of single parenthood, why Linux operating systems are better than Windows, and about the day-to-day lives of several survivalists.
I’ve been cheered to discover that there are so many fellow teenage politicos with which I can share ideas. One or two have also written for this blog and, to be honest, are probably better writers than I am. But the top of the writing talent tree, I would say, is naturally occupied by the authors. It is good to see talented people using both the traditional, accessible media and the modern, democratic media to entertain and inform.
And though my view of people on the blogosphere is overwhelmingly positive, the hardship and injustice that many talk about is striking. I cannot fairly summarise the moving and the outrageous stories that I have heard. All I can say is that it has instilled in me an awareness that I am very fortunate compared to others. I never have, and hopefully never will, have to seek help from a foodbank, for example.
And what of the original point of this blog? A teenager on a desktop computer is unlikely to transform the world, but every voice, however small, must count for something. This blog benefits from having nearly 900 followers and yet more casual readers, so my message is getting somewhere in any case. Furthermore, grassroots and higher level members of my beloved Labour Party make up a considerable proportion of my readership. Our campaign to get the party to adopt universal free school meals as a manifesto pledge has received support from its National Policy Forum. I’d like to think that if this small policy could be adopted, we were a key part of this significant idea.
However, the ethos of this blog is not exclusively party political- The Political Idealist has a socialist outlook, but all ideologies are to be engaged with. I hope readers have found my work to be constructive and not just an outlet for left-wing whining. Though there’s a lot to worry about, I have tried to live up to the name of the blog: the way to achieve ‘the Good Society’ (as my comrades in Labour’s left wing grouping, Compass, say) is to think as if perfection is achievable, even if that is a logical impossibility. As such, “we won’t let our worries dictate who we are”.
All that remains is to thank you, my readers, for doing so much to inspire me and making this blog the success that it has become. Thank you!