Q. Why are you so snarky / sarcastic / mean when you reply to people? Are you really that up yourself?
A. I’ve never pretended to be anything I’m not – and I know for a fact I’m snarky, sarcastic and sometimes patronising and condescending. It’s not something I do intentionally but like any other human being sometimes I get wound up, sometimes I get frustrated and sometimes I’m just in a bad mood.
I’m trying to be better and not be such an arse but please understand I’m human too – and this isn’t my job. If you message me on a Saturday night when I’m in the pub you’ll have to understand why I’m not that bothered about Blues at that particular time.
Q. Why don’t you come out and say something outright? Why do you have to be so cryptic?
A. Generally, if I can say something outright I will. I’m pretty fatalistic and sometimes I want to watch the world burn, so I’ll just come out with something and see what happens.
However, I can’t just think about myself and my desires.
The biggest reason I’ve not said something outright is because it’s legally prudent for me not to. As it stands in nine years of writing I’ve had five legal letters about my websites, and I’ve successfully fought off each one. It’s expensive to retain solicitors and stressful to deal with legal shit so I try not to – which means I have to be careful.
The other main reason I might be cryptic is because I have to protect my sources. I cannot allow them to be affected financially or worse because of my big mouth so I have to be careful not just what I say, but how I say it.
If I am being cryptic, then take a moment and think about what I’ve said – and what I’ve not said – and why I might be holding back.
Q. Why don’t you allow comments on your articles?
I made the decision when I moved from Often Partisan to almajir.net that I was not going to have comments on this website, and I firmly believe I have made the right decision.
Moderation of comments is time consuming and annoying; while I’m careful in what I say many people who commented on OP weren’t. If I’m going to get into trouble for something on my website, it’s going to be because of something I’ve said.
Q. Who are your sources?
A. If there was ever a question that is going to antagonise me, this is the one. I get that people want to know if they can trust what I say or not, but I’m never, ever going to reveal who my sources are. If you’re not sure if you can trust what I say then my advice to you is to remain sceptical.
The only thing I can say about sources is that I’ve spoken to and met a hell of a lot of people. I’m not the most sociable of people but I’ve done my best to remain in contact with people and when appropriate talk about things. Although I’m not a journalist I know that one of the keys to journalism is to be able to exchange information and ideas to build up a more complete picture of a story – and this is something I have tried to practice.
Q. Do you even go to the games?
A. Although I have been a season ticket holder in the past, I’m not one any more. I do go to games but I don’t feel bound by the same sense of duty to going that some do and I freely admit that I probably will never feel that way. I have other things that are important to me – family and my travels being two of them – and as such Blues aren’t always the highest priority to me. If that makes me less of a fan I then I’m sorry you feel that way – but I’m happy with it.
Q. Do you get all your stories off Google?
A. No, not all of them! I will freely admit that I have a black belt in Google-fu and that I’m probably better at finding stuff on Google than most people. I do sometimes look for “lines” on Google – something to write about – but even if I do that I then try and think about things so I can add my own take to it.
Q. Is “example story” good news or bad news?
A. I wholeheartedly believe it is not my job to tell people what to think; all I can do is present facts I have found and what I think they mean; it’s up to the reader to believe or disbelieve a story, and to decide if it’s negative or positive.
It’s important to remember as well that something that might be bad news in the short term might be good in the long run, and vice versa.