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Politics but not that kind of politics…

Many of you reading this will know that this blog talks about politics a lot but politics isn’t just confined to political parties or elected officials but politics can also describe what is going on in my apartment block at the moment.

I live in a nice, quiet block of 24 dwellings in Thorpe Bay in Southend-on-Sea. I have lived here for two years now and I like it here. However there has been a cold war between certain people and that is reaching its peak and whilst I was away wondering where the hell the fountain in Waterlooville precinct had gone (seriously that is just mad – I know I briefly wrote about it yesterday but that is mad) but anyway whilst I was doing that there was a bit of a shin-dig in our communal area and it hasn’t gone down well with some others who live here.

The block is pretty much split with many retired people who own their properties and many younger professionals who rent. It is near enough an even split but the younger renters actually do outnumber the retired folk although they get zero say in how the apartment block is managed.

On Saturday the (I’m told and there is no dispute) event went on to nigh on midnight and was rather loud and involved plenty of loud swearing. This caused complaints and now there is a movement by one section of the residents to get rid of the communal area and BBQ and replace it with more plants. This is an attempt to stop people gathering in the communal area at any time of day and to basically made the block into a quiet residential (retirement?) block in my view however as I only rent I have no say in anything that happens.

There are two paid directors who manage the building and they are split on this. One wants the whole area to go whilst the other is less sure. The one who wants it to go says that if it doesn’t go then they will. It is politics on a real subject at a very local level. Should there be a communal area in an apartment block? Some say yes but some say no. It is all rather dramatic and should it go then the dynamic of the block would change.

I’m firmly in the ‘there is room for compromise’ camp. The communal area and BBQ can stay as long as people agree to move things into their own apartments at a certain time. The lease agreement says 11PM but some say that is too late and want that time brought forward to 8:30 or 9PM, which to me is too early. I’m no party animal but I have no problem with people having a shin-dig but again I’m not allowed a say in these matters.

I have taken a video which I have embedded below to show the communal area as a whole to show what it is like and I think it certainly shows that we don’t need any more plants. It is sad that it has got to a stage where it has to be one thing or the other. Compromise should not be a dirty word and there is room for both groups of people to be happy but it seems like the line has been drawn into the sand so we’ll see what happens.

Politics is real folks in all forms of life…

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  1. efgd efgd

    Oh dear – micro-politics in action. Though you have no say you could chat to a few people with opposite views. Sometimes an outsider manages to bring some calm. There must always be a compromise when people live together other wise society – home estates – becomes totalitarian in nature. Good luck.

    • neilmonnery neilmonnery

      The issue is I know one side will compromise. I know that but one has dug itself into a trench position. It is disappointing as this block has been a very nice place to live – it still is – but both sides should be able to pretty much live in coexistence.

  2. Andrew Currie Andrew Currie

    I’m reading a book at the moment ‘The Argument Culture’ by Deborah Tannen.
    She points out that for many people there are only two opposing views on a question; unless they are introduced to the idea there can be many views from one extreme to another, they can only see two opposites.
    You already know the answer to this – both ‘sides’ can have almost all of what they want with a little compromise. If you plan to be a local councillor this sounds like a good place to start & you are the obvious person to lead. There may be extremists & they are sometimes subtle or even unconscious of their extremism. The reasonable of the middle ground must stand up for compromise otherwise everyone loses out in the end.

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