Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Being a gadfly

Some of my knowing friends accuse me of being a gadfly - let's look it up :

"an annoying person, esp. one who provokes others into action by criticism."

Yes. That's me! This is exactly what I aspire to on this blog - and often succeed:

I've discovered my most effective weapon is the video on Youtube - it works a treat. Of course no one ever acknowledges that the video has been effective but time and time again the matter highlighted gets sorted. If you want examples I can do a post in this very subject - but not now.

Now I'm focusing on the words of abuse I receive from various quarters.

Let's start with the most obvious.

"You're so opinionated". To which I reply "Duh" in the best  Homer Simpson voice  I can manage:

This is my blog dammit. No wonder it's opinionated.

The next term that pops up frequently from several directions is that I'm abusive - this comes from people who take themselves very seriously . People that most people wouldn't dare ask a plain question - people like "the Commander" of The Broughton community. These people are used to the people around them being excessively 'polite'. This term is used in response to me simply asking straight forward questions that they don't expect mere mortals to ask of their illustrious highnesses. "When are you going to pay me back the money you owe me" is clearly an abusive remark.

The latest term that has appeared a couple of times now is that I'm patronising. This clearly a powerful criticism that will knock me flat and win the argument. I've just had it from Cllr Colin Pickthall. He isn't used to ordinary people asking him straight questions like "Aren't you taking your eye off the ball in the way you run Ford Park" which I did a couple of days ago. A question that others of you claim needs asking loud and clear but apparently are reluctant to ask except behind closed doors to your neighbours and friends.

Oh well Geoff - get used to it - you're clearly getting through and doing a great Gadfly impersonation!

Yes when I stop being accused of being - opinionated, abusive and patronising, I should start to get worried. What will the next devastating word that gets used and will it register or have I developed a thick skin? The problem is that there are more and more people get out there fly swatters. They will delight in inflicting me  a death blow. That's why I heed the advice of Doris Lessing and take her warnings very much to heart. It's a viscious world - people will always want to swat gadflies- they are so bloody irritating. One change I'm trying to make that will help is to ask questions rather than make statements - it's a lesson that is taking a long time to sink in. I had to adjust my blog when dealing with people like Persimmons and Howard Whittaker.


Gladys said...

It takes all sort of personalities to build a community. All are needed to bring out the best in people.

Geoff Dellow said...

lovely remark Gladys - Yes we need lots of people who praise and give 'strokes' I'm sure our local politicians would especially appreciate this as they do work hard. So here goes - Thank you Janet Jenkinson for putting so much effort into a hard job - sometimes I think what you say for Ulverston is remarkable - other times I don't. At least your not a 'smoothy' like . . . .