Blogging, I have discovered, can get you in trouble.
In fact, it is probably broader than that. My mouth gets me in trouble. I have this condition, whereby words fall out of my mouth, or in this case fingers, before I have time to think about them. Apparently there isn’t medication available for Being A Bit Mouthy. Apparently it is just something I will have to learn to control.
The good thing about blogging as opposed to talking at least is that there is a short window of opportunity between typing and pressing ‘publish’ where I can think to myself ‘Really? Do you really want to share that thought? Out loud?’ Quite often I decide that no, it is probably something best kept inside my head, but other times I don’t even stop to consider the consequences.
Such was the case with the post I wrote last week about electoral reform and women’s representation in politics. I thought I was just having a little rant about gender equality, as I am prone to do. I hoped one or two people might click on the odd link. I published, and thought no more about it.
What I wasn’t expecting was that the next day my local prospective Lib Dem MP would knock on my door.
“Hello!” he said enthusiastically, despite the fact we had never met before, “congratulations on the new job!” (He follows me on twitter, he’s not just stalking me. I don’t think.) “I’ve come to ask you a favour.”
“Um, ok, you’d better come in then.”
I usher him into the kitchen and offer coffee.
“So,” he begins, clearly not wanting to beat around the bush, “I read your blog post about women in politics!” (I’m using a lot of exclamation marks here as he does have an ‘eager puppy’ quality about him.)
“And you know we have the local elections coming up…”
“I wanted to ask if you would stand as a candidate!”
D’oh! Well and truly cornered. This is exactly what happened when I complained about my local Arts Centre’s programme of activities for International Women’s Day and then they asked me to host a workshop on women in the media. What could I do? You can hardly complain about women’s representation in politics and then say no when someone offers you the chance to do something about it can you?*
“Well, I’d love to,” I stalled, “but I’m actually going to be moving to Bristol in the summer.” Perfect.
“That doesn’t matter,” he assured me, “you won’t actually win, we just want to give people the option of voting for a Lib Dem candidate.” And you thought politicians weren’t honest?
So, there you go. That’s why blogging is dangerous. People might actually read what you write and make you do something about it. This time next month I could be a councillor. Once I’ve finished filling in the forms of course – I’m just trying to decide whether or not I should declare my blog as something ‘that has the potential to cause political embarrassment’…
*If you happen to live in ‘Bridgwater – Westover’ ward, please consider voting Liberal Democrat on May 5th. You know it makes sense.