As this is as they say my first rodeo it has been a bit of a leap into the unknown. As some of you will know due to personal matters my campaign has been slow to get going as I have been dealing with more important things. No matter how important this campaign is family has to come first and that as they say is that.
So anyway the funeral was last week and at the weekend I got together with my agent and Cllr Paul Collins to discuss the strategy. When I agreed to run I had a couple of very simple aims and I would not be swayed. Firstly I would only talk about what I stood for and not get involved in what the other candidates are doing or not doing, saying or not saying. That stuff irks me. In election campaigns we all see leaflets that say Cllr X says this or Candidate Y is the only person who can stand up for Z etc…
Often the matter of the fact is these statements are not true. Whether they are outright lies or just stretching the truth is debatable but what isn’t is if you see a leaflet talking about someone else other than the candidate the leaflet is trying to endorse then it probably isn’t 100% on the money.
So I am happy to say that I have now concluded my final leaflet for the local election in three weeks bar getting a photo and a couple of phone numbers but all the actual content is written. I’m even happier to say that not once does it mention any of my opponents nor even any other party. It only speaks about what I think I can bring to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council should the people of Westborough ward back me and elect me as one of their councillors on May 3.
I have only talked about issues that I can realistically influence at the Civic Centre. There are other leaflets out there from all over the town and from all parties and independents that talk about things they don’t really ave a hope in hell of influencing at local level. I think this is not how it should be done. Talk about what you can hope to achieve not what you hope to achieve. They are two very different things altogether. I can hope to achieve finding a nice girl and falling in love. I hope to marry Sophie Ellis Bextor. You can see the difference. One I can hope to actually do. One is but an unrealistic dream.
The other issue that led to me agreeing to stand was to give a different voice in the council chambers. Rightly or wrongly the vast percentage of councillors are either retired or professionals towards the end of their working lives. Yes there are are a few in their 40s and I understand one in their 30s but the voice of the younger generation is not well represented in the town. Now I’m not a teenager but I am but 28 and do see the issues that face a different generation.
I won’t be the voice of young people as it were and I would never attempt to brand myself as such. However I think it would be fair to say that I would have a greater understanding of the issues my generation face compared to the majority of elected officials in the town. I think it would be great if in the next two to three years the council saw a good handful of people in their 20s and 30s enter the chambers at the Civic Centre.
So they are my two main reasons for agreeing to run. To help bring a different voice to the debates and to how the town is run and to install a sense of positive politics to the local scene. I don’t care what candidate X said about Candidate Y because Candidate Y no doubt says something about Candidate X as well. It’s all ‘blah blah blah’ and I choose to never to trust someone whose priority is to talk about someone elses bad points rather than their own good points.
So when my leaflet starts dropping through the letterboxes in Westborough hopefully people will get to see and read about what I stand for and why I believe I can be a good councillor for not only the good people of Westborough but also for Southend-on-Sea as a whole. What people won’t read is why they should vote for me over anyone else. What they’ll see is why I think I could be god for them full stop. I have no doubt some of the other candidates would be very good. I just hope that my case is good enough to stand up on its own two feet without needing to resort to tell-tale tactics that sadly infects politics on all levels.
One day we’ll be able to move on from that I hope and I hope my attempts are a very small step in that direction.
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