Thought I would better introduce myself with an exploration in the evolution of my thinking in the past five years (how exciting and welcoming).
I became politically conscious when I started University in 2010 (I bet you’ve never heard that before). I had been searching for something to latch onto, it came in the form of atheism, a word I hadn’t heard of before. This may have been because I had been ‘educated’ at Catholic schools for the previous 11 years or so. I don’t think they were that bad compared to other horror stories, but they of course ruled on the premise that there was a God and he was certainly a Catholic. I had slowly lost my faith, for reasons I’m unsure of, considering how unintelligent I was.
So I was a bitter ex-Catholic, looking for someone must more intelligent than me to demolish the Church I was once a sheep of, that man was Christopher Hitchens. I watched a debate in which him and Stephen Fry tore apart the Catholic Church and was hooked. The accent, the oratory, the wit, the fire, Hitchens had many qualities that I cherished. I rushed to read all things Hitchens. His book God is not Great, an angry polemic, along with my personal favourites, his superb attack on Mother Teresa in the wonderfully titled The Missionary Position and his magnum opus The Trial of Henry Kissinger. He also, uncomfortably for me (to this day) supported the war in Iraq with gusto. That, I thought, was a blip. It was Hitchens that made me want to be a journalist. There was a few minor issues with journalism as a career plan. I was (and still am) a sloppy writer who knows a little bit about lots of things, a jack of all knowledge if you will.
Thanks to Hitchens and others, it was now clear to me, religion was the root of all problems in the world. If religion fucked off, we could then sort out all the other issues – war, poverty, capitalism and Sheffield Wednesday being shit.
Hitchens died of cancer in December 2011, which left me considerably upset. By then though, the glamour of all things Hitchens had soured. I had also read a critical things about him, which left me considerably disillusioned. Yet again, I was cast adrift with nothing to sink my teeth into, in stepped the far left. (To be continued).