For a second I was confused by the text message ‘Of course you’re right…he,he,he’, in response to mine girlishly gushing about Jeremy Paxman being in the same audience for a Fringe show. Then I remembered how this friend had teased, years ago, that my idea of a perfect evening would be one spent arguing Paxman into admitting defeat and that I was right. Oh dear.
I do have strong views. I’m never short of an opinion. But I know when to shut up (well usually). Edinburgh in August is festival city. Another festival was in town – the Festival of Politics – and I was asked by British Future to produce a factual blog post for the ‘Who are Jock Tamson’s Bairns? Attitudes towards migration in Scotland’ session. This lively debate was held at the Scottish Parliament and the temptation was to bring my own agenda – to highlight the points that best illustrated my own point of view. Instead I snapped into news reporting. I tried, and I hope I succeeded, in reflecting the balance of opinion.
Usually I have no obligations to be balanced. Most readers are looking for opinion. People don’t tend to read blogs for information – this was an exception, closer to an event report. Blogs are where you can afford to let your views hang out, share your insight and provide opinion as forcefully or understated as you feel comfortable with. It’s your personality, and opinions are good. Most of the time.