Why blog?

Welcome to my blog.

This page has been dormant for a few years. I have a lot that I want to say, but I have spent  along time wondering how to say it.

My name is Robin Hanan.

I live partly in Bray, Ireland, partly in Kefalonia, Greece and partly on Facebook.

I have been a political and social activist since my youth.

I will use this blog to try to start discussion on some of the topics that interest me. At first, most blogs will be spread through Facebook and perhaps Twitter, if I can overcome my aversion.

Some general ideas:

1. I will not always try to be original. It can sometimes be more important to reach a broad consensus on key issues than to put forward  new or innovative analysis. If you look at a post and say ‘that’s obvious’, that might mean that it is an important starting point.

2. I am interested in discussion, not abuse. If you don’t agree with me, by all means tell me why. Calling me, or other people who post here, names will get you banned

3. I hope always to distinguish information from opinion as far as possible . Every policy needs to be informed by fact but decided by values (I’ll explain this more as the blog goes on)

So, what will I write about?

I hope to follow a few strands:

A. Political ideas, big and small – these will inevitably focus on the big issues of out time – (1). How will humanity survive? and perhaps more crucially (2). who will pay the price? Beneath this, there are a plethora of more detailed issues

B. Books of the world: I have recently amused myself by reading books, mostly novels, from around the world. My focus will be on what they tell us about the societies they portray rather than their literary merit, which I would not feel competent to comment on

C. Facts and figures: Facts alone cannot drive politics, but without them there can be no serious discussion. I will share and summarize statistics, surveys, stories and whatever else catches my eye

D. Shares and links: no one Blog can cover everything

E. Background to the news: To reduce my frustration with the instant news cycle

My guide will be the old slogan:

“Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.”

We need to understand and analyse our problems but we also need to believe that we can solve them.

Happy reading.