In some ways it still seems like yesterday that I first started blogging and in others it feels like I've been doing this much longer, but in fact Howie's Corner is now two years old. When I started I didn't really have much of an idea of where I was going but this blog seems to have found an audience for which I am grateful. So thank you to all my readers, regular occasional and new!
There is so much competition out there and I'm no academic or journalist, just an individual with a point of view trying to make sense of the world and commenting on those issues which interest me along with a few pieces just for entertainment.
The prime reason for going on line was the attempt by Mark Serwotka, the General Secretary of the PCS union in conjunction with the Socialist Party trying to censor my e-mail list. I mention this because as regular readers will know there was a recurrence of this recently when I published a guest post by Margie Rathbone promoting a new union in the HMRC which Serwotka and his cronies took umbrage with and demanded (unsuccessfully) that I take it down. I refused, see here and here.
The defence of free speech is very central to political discourse at the moment. The main threats come not just from the state but very much from the left and the religious, particularly over the question of the criticism of Islam(ism) which usually results in accusations of "Islamophobia" or worse "racism" which of course is utter nonsense since theology of any type is not a race. It is simply a set of man-made ideas masquerading as the word of some imaginary "God" or "Gods".
Fighting back against religious extremism has also been a major theme on this blog, even more so since the rise of the ISIS fascists and their mass murder, rape and enslavement of Christians, Yazadi's, Kurds and other minorities that have the misfortune to fall under their control.
The left has remained mostly silent or dismissive of this and still panders to some ridiculous notion of "anti-imperialism" by claiming the West is the real enemy. Utter and complete bollocks. No other word for it.
PCS the union to which I belong has also been at the centre of numerous posts and my view has changed over two tears to the point whereby I no longer see it as a viable union.
PCS has been hi-jacked by the far-left who use the union as a platform for their outlandish and unworkable Marxist agenda. It is now ins serious decline and I am not alone in wondering about alternatives. (see post below).
Trade unions are essential in a fully functioning democracy and the fight for trade union rights is as central as the fight for Free Speech, Human rights, women's rights and gay rights. All of which are under attack from one quarter or another everywhere. These must be defended.
People have lost faith in politicians and political parties which is probably why there has been the rise of nationalism in UKIP and the SNP, neither of which are suitable for the modern age.
As a free thinker and independent I refuse to be beholden to any ideology or theology. The prime focus must be on the rights of the individual. Of course there must be social responsibility, but rights come with responsibilities, a point over looked by many, both on the left, the right and the religious.
The journey to a better world will be a long and difficult one. I do not claim to have the answers but will continue to blog for freedom and attack those who would take it away from us.
But blogging isn't just about politics. Humanity needs humour, music and entertainment. That's why I occasionally publish Musical or (albeit once in a while) comedy interludes.
This year also saw the launch of my second blog: Howie's World of Comics which is where I write about my hobby. Some people like sport or fishing. I enjoy relaxing with a comic book or two.
Heck I even got around to going on Face Book this year.
Meanwhile I hope you choose to stay with me in the coming year.
Thanks for reading.
And now a completely random piece of music. Just really like the song and the video that goes with it!