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southmartin

Ok, So We Type Lots And Argue A Fair Bit About Politics

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But how many of us here would actually get involved, or help a particular candidate in their area?

I ask, partially out of self interest – I'm an adopted PPC for the General Election, and am still amazed by the number of people that know the score, but still won't actually lift a finger to do anything about it.

I can understand if politics isn't your thing, and you don't see why you should care (that's another argument). But those who really want change but then think "it's not my job" are a strange breed..

Comments?

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Even if I got beyond thinking "What's the point?" and did anything, it would mean being surrounded by political types.

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For who?

My problem is I live in a red area and it doesn't matter who stood against the red it's unlikely to make a difference.

I don't really like any of the political parties in the UK and even the greens leave me feeling a bit worn out.

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With chronyx. Even if there was someone I agreed with enough to help out with it would all seem like a pointless waste of energy, pissing in the ocean to raise sea levels thing.

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For who?

My problem is I live in a red area and it doesn't matter who stood against the red it's unlikely to make a difference.

I don't really like any of the political parties in the UK and even the greens leave me feeling a bit worn out.

Not necessarily I live in a red area (since 1997 anyway) and more am aware of a subtle shift from red to purple. Ex miners ect I see up the local workings man's club who hate Thatcher with a vengeance are seriously considering switching to purple.

Local council election in the last few weeks the purple lot lost by 47 votes where last time round they came no where....

Be in no doubt the ground is shifting. Labour held Heywood by the skin of their teeth. It the Tory had not stood UKIP would have won it.

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I quite often like to debate politics, with somebody I disagree with! If is a debate, we both might understand each other's views, although we might agree to disagree on the solution. If I became a real "politician" I would stand up in Parliament and shout the Party line, because I wouldn't like the electorate any more, and I would be more interseted in toadying up to my boss.

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Yes I was out canvassing and on polling station duty during the referendum. But that was non-party and seemed like there was genuine choice between different systems. Not likely to be active for the general election (never been active before either)

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I knocked on doors for Maggie Thatcher in 1979.

I was at University then.

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Could only be bothered to do 10 years as an elected local politician. Chairman of this that and the other. A proper pillar of the establishment. Even got invited to Buck House for tea.

Chucked it all in when I became an anarchist. Well, a minarchist. Which autocorrects to monarchist. Which I am a bit as well.

But local politics is important. Really important. Thankless hard work but it's important and you can and do make a difference.

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A suspicion and knowledge of a power behind the curtain that is beyond the reach of the ballot box makes a lot of it futile.

Even a UKIP victory would probably result in some sort of alleged favorable renegotiation of EU membership terms fudge - although it would be fun to watch the mental gymnastics, of the polite middle classes, to rationalise it rather than confront the fact that that real regime change only ever occurs by force.

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Consider that one of my goals is to abolish political parties and reform parliament. Then consider that the only way to get the power to do it means going through the current system. Welcome to apathy central. I've toyed with doing something but if it involves any popularity contests like being elected I have about zero chance of succeeding due to my personality and background. Beyond that I find so few people I feel comfortable endorsing or believe can make a difference I want to see, it becomes a non-starter.

Feel free to suggest something.

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Consider that one of my goals is to abolish political parties and reform parliament. Then consider that the only way to get the power to do it means going through the current system. Welcome to apathy central. I've toyed with doing something but if it involves any popularity contests like being elected I have about zero chance of succeeding due to my personality and background. Beyond that I find so few people I feel comfortable endorsing or believe can make a difference I want to see, it becomes a non-starter.

Feel free to suggest something.

Alternative getting an invading force to come in and do the job.

We'd need considerably more oil than we have..

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Although I'd always been one of those good-at-interview schoolboys who was opinionated about current affairs and could talk about political theory and economic history, I was never very interested in actually doing it.

I became involved because I slagged off the state of the roads at the pub once too often and once too loudly and someone said, "if you can do better, why don't you?" I could hardly ignore this statement of the obvious. Elections were coming up so I rang the party to which I was instinctively drawn and offered help knocking on doors, stuffing envelopes etc. Then the candidate died! And everyone looked at me. So about two months after the pub chat I found myself an elected politician and within a year had got myself responsibility for planning and transport. Now it was me on the hook for the crap roads and the local housing shortage. Gulp.

Local politics, of course, isn't really about having "control" - it's more a matter of pushing and persuading towards broad outcomes that you and your constituents favour. Years of playing the uber-planner in Sim City didn't really prepare me for the grind of trying to influence multiple layers of government and inertia driven bureaucracy. Much harder than laying down a rail line with the swipe of a mouse.

But I think I did make a difference in ways that really matter to people. Simple things - a pavement added to a road that had become busy. Big things - supported and, to a degree, shaped a 10,000 house development. Long term things - contributed to various central government policy documents on urban planning. And personal things - I'm a greenie (philosophically, not party) so I still get a warm glow when I see bikes parked at all the stands I had put in around the place.

Roads round here are still crap, though.

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Although I'd always been one of those good-at-interview schoolboys who was opinionated about current affairs and could talk about political theory and economic history, I was never very interested in actually doing it.

I became involved because I slagged off the state of the roads at the pub once too often and once too loudly and someone said, "if you can do better, why don't you?" I could hardly ignore this statement of the obvious. Elections were coming up so I rang the party to which I was instinctively drawn and offered help knocking on doors, stuffing envelopes etc. Then the candidate died! And everyone looked at me. So about two months after the pub chat I found myself an elected politician and within a year had got myself responsibility for planning and transport. Now it was me on the hook for the crap roads and the local housing shortage. Gulp.

Local politics, of course, isn't really about having "control" - it's more a matter of pushing and persuading towards broad outcomes that you and your constituents favour. Years of playing the uber-planner in Sim City didn't really prepare me for the grind of trying to influence multiple layers of government and inertia driven bureaucracy. Much harder than laying down a rail line with the swipe of a mouse.

Roads round here are still crap, though.

Show me your expenses! :blink:

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When I started, I didn't realise you could get paid. And while campaigning I'd told people there was no money in it for me. So I was I bit surprised to be given a form to claim "attendance allowance" and expenses. It would have made me a liar to claim so I didn't. Not that it cost me much to remain honest - something of the order of £300 a year at the time, I think. And no mileage allowance as I cycled everywhere and you could only claim for cars (until I fixed that).

The rate did go up later; a "backbencher" could get around £5k pa IIRC by the time I quit. £12k or so for portfolio holders, I think.

Which is criminally low. It's practically a full time job to do properly but with "pay" so low, the only people who can afford to do it are the wealthy. And in that I include those on private incomes such as pensions. Local "democracy" is therefore the domain of the old and rich. Not very representative at all. I was the youngest when I started, the youngest when I left 10 years later and if I went back now after 10 years - unless the demographic has changed - I'd be the youngest still. By some margin.

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When I started, I didn't realise you could get paid. And while campaigning I'd told people there was no money in it for me. So I was I bit surprised to be given a form to claim "attendance allowance" and expenses. It would have made me a liar to claim so I didn't. Not that it cost me much to remain honest - something of the order of £300 a year at the time, I think. And no mileage allowance as I cycled everywhere and you could only claim for cars (until I fixed that).

The rate did go up later; a "backbencher" could get around £5k pa IIRC by the time I quit. £12k or so for portfolio holders, I think.

Which is criminally low. It's practically a full time job to do properly but with "pay" so low, the only people who can afford to do it are the wealthy. And in that I include those on private incomes such as pensions. Local "democracy" is therefore the domain of the old and rich. Not very representative at all. I was the youngest when I started, the youngest when I left 10 years later and if I went back now after 10 years - unless the demographic has changed - I'd be the youngest still. By some margin.

Scarcely words for a "real" politician! :blink:

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I've stood for the green party many years ago.
I have leafleted for many things over the year - GP, tenant groups, community events.
I was asked to join the local tory group as they were in short supply of people wanting to stand as candidates. I declined. Him indoors isn't keen on the amount of time politics takes up - we used to go to lots of forums and groups locally. You find yourself getting more involved in more things and it's time consuming.

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I've stood for the green party many years ago.

I have leafleted for many things over the year - GP, tenant groups, community events.

I was asked to join the local tory group as they were in short supply of people wanting to stand as candidates. I declined. Him indoors isn't keen on the amount of time politics takes up - we used to go to lots of forums and groups locally. You find yourself getting more involved in more things and it's time consuming.

A mate of mine was a bit late for his "green party" meeting in Hove, so I dropped him off in the Volvo, carefully hidden round the corner, so he could turn up wearing bicycle clips, to make him look "greener"!

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A mate of mine was a bit late for his "green party" meeting in Hove, so I dropped him off in the Volvo, carefully hidden round the corner, so he could turn up wearing bicycle clips, to make him look "greener"!

:-)

Did he have to pretend to have his bike stolen when they all came out?

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Consider that one of my goals is to abolish political parties and reform parliament. Then consider that the only way to get the power to do it means going through the current system. Welcome to apathy central. I've toyed with doing something but if it involves any popularity contests like being elected I have about zero chance of succeeding due to my personality and background. Beyond that I find so few people I feel comfortable endorsing or believe can make a difference I want to see, it becomes a non-starter.

Feel free to suggest something.

'The Internet Party'. Name not that important but should show that there is no left/right/regional bias.

Zero campaign funds. Supporters print out approved fliers at their own expense and/or donate to keep site running.

Web site for each constituency, only residents get posting rights. Specific topic forums for discussions about education, NHS etc.

All candidates to have lived in the constituency for at least 5 years. Candidate chosen by forum members.

This would have MPs reflecting the views of their neighbours, or least the views of neighbours prepared to actually get involved a little.

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