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Day: January 2, 2012

‘Neil Monnery for Westborough Ward’ – It has a ring to it don’t you think? It’s official. I’m standing for election

Oh if either of my politics tutors could see me now. Ten years after taking my A-Levels and somehow getting a passing grade in my A-Level politics exams I have just got off the phone with Cllr Paul Collins having accepted his invitation to stand for election in the 2012 in Westborough. I had options both in the East and West of the town but this is how it is going to go down.

It hasn’t been an easy decision. In fact quite the opposite. It has been a decision that I have wrestled with for over a month now since the first time it got brought up. I was concerned about several things but in the end one thing stood head and shoulders above everything else – the belief that I could actually do some good in this world. Yes I do good in other ways (Hospital Radio, helping out my neighbours who always need computers fixing etc…) but I was presented with an opportunity to do even more and on a more widespread scale.

I think it is fair to say I’m not the prototypical candidate. Just look at this photo of me (and others) with Nick Clegg. I look a bit out of place and a bit scruffy but that is who I am. I’m not a clean-cut professional who has aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder. I just want to lead a decent life and do some good with my time on this Earth. I don’t think that is too ambitious and something that is eminently reachable.

My reasons for running are not personal gratification but because I do really think that being elected can help the people of Southend. As it stands the Conservatives have a majority of five on the council but 2012 may well be the year when this all changes. All it needs are for three seats to change hands and then instead of a ruling Tory council we may see a rainbow coalition of Lib Dems, Labour and the Independents all working towards a common goal – that of making Southend a better place.

Coming into this I have a few ideas and I’ll sit down with people in the ward to discuss what their key concerns are. I’m also planning on going to resident meetings to get a flavour of the trials and tribulations of the people of that ward. Hopefully they’ll be a nice mesh of my thoughts and residents thoughts that can be put to good use.

So there we have it I suppose. I’ll obviously write more in the coming weeks and months but that is where we stand. I’m running for council. I’m not sure who is more surprised, me or anyone who has known me for the past 28 odd years? I’m going to say me. Whatever happens it will be an experience and at least I can say I gave it a shot instead and wondering ‘what if?’ as I have thought on numerous occasions about many things in my past. Better to have tried and failed than to never try at all…

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The Daily Mail is bad but the people who comment on Daily Mail articles…

The people who read the Daily Mail are really quite awesome. You wonder if these people know anything about the world or whether their whole view of the world is formed thanks to what they read in said newspaper. I was pointed towards a piece entitled Is a super-volcano just 390 miles from London about to erupt? which is the ideal Daily Mail type story. The super-volcano bit interested me but the 390 miles from London bit seemed a bit desperate – but hey – you gotta do what you gotta do eh DM?

So anyway I read the piece which to be fair is pretty poorly researched. The evidence used is weak to the extreme and it is totally scaremongering. Usually I’d read and move on but a couple of comments caught me eye. Firstly this…

Yes seriously. The fact that there might be a super-volcano in Germany that is due to explode means that we need to pull out of the EU. If we pull out of the EU then any potential ash cloud will stop at our borders out of respect for our sovereignty. Being in the EU is endorsing our support of super-volcanoes. I despair I really do but the next one I despair for two reasons…

Firstly I despair that the commenter can’t spell the word ‘bankers’ which is quite a depressing scenario but I despair even more that 15 people (as of the time of taking the screenshot) gave it a thumbs up. Yes we should put the bankers in the super-volcano because they’ll save the day and stop the explosion and ash cloud reaching us and they’ll be heroes. Or is it just 15 people saying they want to kill bankers for no real reason?

The Daily Mail makes me sad but a significant percentage of those who comment make me weep for mankind.

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