Phil, whose been blogging away at AVPS for some time now, is one of those old school socialists that show you can have a good theoretical grounding and talk like a human being at the same time. He writes on a wide range of subjects from sci-fi to wild cat strikes, he can entertain on them all.
In the second of a short series of interviews with fellow bloggers we discuss trolls, George Galloway and the Committee for a Workers' International.
- What are the highs and lows of blogging for you?
Lows: Trolls can be incredibly annoying if you let them get under your skin. And then there's blogger's block which can be frustrating - back in 2007 I remember it lasting for half a year.
- How does blogging fit into your general political activity?
But on the other hand it does effect my activity, or rather how I reflect on that activity. For me blogging is more than mouthing off. Among other things, it's an opportunity to test arguments, clarify my thoughts about political and theoretical issues and think through what me and my comrades do. So blogging is an extension of my activism.
For example I often blog about the discussions that take place in my local party branch and regional get togethers, and nine times out of ten I attend a demo or a meeting with an eye to writing about it later on. A number of readers have told me this gives them a different view of the SP than what they can expect from our publications and website - so I've inadvertently fell into another way of plugging my organisation, but this wouldn't be possible if I was an inactive member. My blogging then is parasitic on my activism.
- If you could imagine a perfect blog - what would it look like?
- Traditionally hard left organisations have liked to keep quite a tight control over their propaganda... has your blogging ever got you into trouble?
There's been other times when comrades - and not just SP comrades - have asked me not to mention something.. But that's very rare now. Everyone I work with knows I don't mention sensitive things such as membership figures, financial details, the specifics of what we're planning locally, behind the scenes talks with other organisations and what have you.
I do think some might wonder why I churn out loads for my blog but very little for party publications. But on the other hand I think most comrades can see the positives of having a number of CWI-aligned blogs.
- The print media seems to have a wary relationship with online publications - do you think they're right to be scared of us?
Quick fire round:
- Tory government better, worse or same as Labour? Marginally worse
- George Galloway or John Rees? Galloway
- Fourth Plinth - hot or not? Hot
- Lenin or Taafe? Taaffe (never shared a urinal with Lenin)
- Opera or Oprah? Jerry
- Caroline Lucas or John McDonnell? McDonnell
- Buffy or firefly? Buffy - not keen on Westerns in space!
- Max Weber: marks out of ten? Eight
- Obama: super smooth or mad dog imperialist? Ever so smooth
- Newspaper or magazine? Blog