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To write or not to write?

The Liberal Democrat Party Conference 2012
(click to zoom)

I’m no stranger to having a pop at big corporates or political figures. If you’ve read my posts on the likes of Little Chef, Nick Clegg, or Acciona Trasmediterránia you’ll know what I mean. I’m also pretty sure I’m not particularly welcome at Thorpe Park either!

But on one particular topic I have, for the last couple of years, found myself biting my tongue. It’s one thing to take on a company or politician, but in this instance I’d inevitably end up slagging off an entire country. A country in which I have found myself working a few times over the last couple of years, and one which I quite like on the whole. Putting my views into print in this instance could potentially cause commercial damage to the people I work with there, it could harm my own income, and at an extreme could bar me from entry. It’s a dilemma to me as someone who would normally follow the principle of ‘publish and be damned’. Silence is the sensible option of course, but there’s a part of me that feels like a total sell out.

It struck me just what a sell out I was when I was talking about the location in question to someone who writes a dedicated travel blog. It seems to me that so many travel bloggers shy away from realities of the destinations they are writing about due to the risk of causing offence. Not for reasons of tact, but perhaps based around the fact it may deprive them of a press trip or a free flight.

Am I any better? No I am not? My reasons also are based on personal gain!  I’m genuinely disappointed in myself!

Where do you draw the line?

In sitting down to think things through and write this I have come to a conclusion!

The real thing stopping me is the potential damage to the business of friends. So, once any ties are gone, I’m not just going to write up my views. I’m going to go back with my camera and do what I can to expose the situation both in pictures and print. Perhaps then my complicit silence will be corrected – hopefully this would be a fitting apology to the men and women who continue to be exploited.