Posts Tagged ‘Independents’

How to get Elected: The conversation about getting into politics that I would have liked right now if I’d never been elected before

March 10, 2018 Leave a comment



When the watershed moment arrived when I finally accepted that Local Politics, National Politics and our Political Party system is completely broken, it was far from being a happy time.

Genuine democracy does after all require that a few can work collaboratively and collectively together, so that the many beyond them can all benefit together as one.

Hope that change will come from the top in Politics today feels like at best an aspiration. In reality, it looks to be little more than a pipe dream.

If the ongoing Brexit circus tells us anything in the future, when we look back at this time, it will be that the self-serving nature of many politicians is more entrenched now than it has ever been before. That far too many of the Politicians who we have most recently entrusted with our Votes, treat the Electorate with a level of contempt that they are now struggling to hide.

We are desperate for change right now. But with the system behaving as it is, the change necessary is likely to take time.

If time is what it will take to deliver a better kind of politics that genuinely benefits us all, taking the first steps in some way is progress that we must find a way to make.

After all, none of us will benefit from an immediate or revolutionary-type change if one form of oppression is simply replaced with something far worse or at best the very same.

Sadly, the rot in politics is as rabid at Local level as it is at Westminster. But it is here where the most realistic opportunity exists to create and develop a catalyst of change. One that will make people living real lives and the communities around them the centre and priority of government services and politics across the UK once again.

Whilst all of the Political Parties have ideas and members motivated in the right direction, they have reached the stage where the more they change, the more they stay the same.

Without convincing influence from outside, the Parties will never identify any pressing need to even consider doing more.

Real Localism is a fine place to begin. Putting people and communities back in charge. Giving Voters voices which genuinely represent them from within.

To do this, we need more Independent and like-minded people representing us in Local Authorities of all kinds. But they need to know what they are getting themselves into, and what will be required of them to get Elected, to be good Representatives and to work with others in ways that can achieve so much more.

With experience of being an Elected Member and running in the range of Elections that I have, I decided it was time to create, produce and publish a resource that can help.

Using the knowledge, insight and understanding that I have from that personal experience of our political world, I have this week launched the complete version of ‘How to get Elected’ (H2GE).

How to get Elected covers all things that a new entrant to Politics in the UK should consider. It is the conversation about getting into politics that I would have liked to have right now if I’d never been elected before.

H2GE ranges from the questions that should be asked before beginning a Campaign and the formal requirements of becoming a Candidate and running an Election Campaign, to the good practice principles which can assist and help individual Councillors and Campaigners feel more sure of themselves and what they are doing.

It is my sincerest hope that H2GE will provide aspiring community minded politicians with a form of support that will allow them to feel confident in their efforts and reassure them that they are not alone.

How to get Elected is a Free to use Website aimed at those who genuinely want to work for change. It is also available as a Book for Kindle.

Please visit, read, share and where possible ENJOY!





Councillors’ Pay: Throwing money at more of the same just increases the odds of things going from bad to even worse

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

If you feel at all cynical about politicians and their motives for seeking power, you are unlikely to have been left feeling refreshed by the latest row over councillors’ pay which has surfaced this morning. After all, one set of politicians laying out the stall to put more money into the pockets of another is hardly the story that anyone outside of politics wants to hear. But is the promise of higher pay for councillors really the only answer to better local government?

The motives for becoming a politician at any level are not what many would hope or perhaps expect. Whilst the pathway to becoming a member of a local authority may be based upon an entirely different set of aspirations from those who become MP’s, the biggest difference between the two is the full-time and fully remunerated nature of all the roles in Westminster which have propagated and supported the rise of the ‘career politician’.

As a Local Councillor myself, I can look back on my own political history to date and know that it was not money which motivated me to contest my first Borough Election in 2003 and come 5th for a 2-seat Ward. It was not looking good and being seen by others as having responsibility in a public role which drove me to take part in the County Elections of 2005 and experience a recount to finish in 3rd place for a 2-seat Division. But it was a belief in something better for all and the sense of providing a voice for those who choose not or are unable to do so for themselves that did push me to go out each time and then win my first Borough Seat in 2007. Sadly it is not the same for all too many others.

The reality of local government, whether you are Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP or Independent, is that it is a place of frustration for the well-intended. A place where the power to influence decision making in its greatest sense simply doesn’t exist – much in the same way that the handful of our better-intentioned MP’s will have discovered to their absolute horror when they first arrived in Parliament.

It is a cold hard fact that within any system of government where so many of the would-be decision makers have arrived on the basis of personal gain and advancement, it is that very same emotional buy-in which propelled them there that prevents them and others from doing anything truly selfless when it has even the slightest risk of making those selfishly-based positions any less secure.

Such fear has propagated the growth of an insidious culture within local government where officers are often left leading the leaders with their own protectionist based views which put jobs, conditions and the limitation of all risks above any decision which actually may be the right one for the Taxpayers who fund them. It is a pathway which over many years has led to the unsustainable cost of direct services that should never have even been put at risk; coupled to a future which above all else is inextricably linked to such wonders as the bottomless pit which is the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Increasing councillors ‘pay’ to ‘realistic levels’, will only encourage more of those with the same self-interest to step forward and to then fight even harder to protect their own interests once elected. Part-time career politicians would quickly become as prevalent throughout the lower tiers of government as their full time counterparts are at Westminster, and it is the very term ‘career’ which in this sense says so very much about what is wrong with politics and where the true motives of many politicians lie today.

Reform at all levels of government should be an absolute priority, but should not be restricted to executive, administrative or technical functions.

The political party system is also failing people as much locally as it is nationally and throwing money at more of the same just increases the odds of things going from bad to even worse.

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