Friday, 12 April 2013

Why on earth am I standing for the council? and other questions that keep me awake at night.

I find myself in a bit of a quandary sometimes with all this election stuff. One of the most incisive questions you can be asked on the doorstep is: "why do you want to be a councilor?" (if your stuck for questions when politicians come a knocking ask them that one). Although I've heard it precious few times on the doorsteps of Penzance East. It's one I have been asked and my answer was because I want to serve the people of this town, I want change at Cornwall Council. That is true I really do, but it is one of those 'stock' answers politicians say. It sounds frankly like one of those unconvincing soundbites well polished politicians give.

I'm not one of those well polished politicians, that rabbits out soundbites. Probably my worst answer to a question on the doorstep was the other day, a lady asked if I could get council tax reduced and I said that "I'm no miracle worker." Probably the right answer for a politician in that situation is to offer voters what they want I should have said: "I'll make that my priority in office." But I didn't, I don't think council tax can be reduced any further, any more cuts in council funding are bound to result in yet more job cuts and yet more front line services axed. I'm no good in the game of spin and PR, I'm by no means a salesman, perhaps to my detriment in this campaign when I'm asked an honest question I tend to give an honest answer. I've had this approach throughout my life and I know it's got me in trouble before.

In fact, I question entirely what exactly I'm doing. Who do I think I am, wanting to be a councilor? the son of a fisherman from a humble housing estate, playing in this game called politics. No one in my family has ever been a politician, no one in my family has ever been in charge of much at all, except the odd small business. I didn't really even have a very political childhood, moral lessons came thick and fast at chapel and sunday school. But politics save for my Mothers taste in music Tracy Chapman and the Stranglers, I didn't really have a great deal of it. In fact it's from music that comes one of my favourite political quotes: "Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps." I'm by no means your ideal candidate for election.

I remember years ago wanting to go to university and my father saying to me, that it was a waste of time. My parents hadn't gone to uni and neither had their parents. I still don't know to this day whether Dad thought I was too stupid or if I should just work instead or if it just wasn't the kind of thing people like us did. I had my doubts, I thought you had to be really intelligent to go to uni and doubted it was for me. Whichever it was or wasn't he didn't convince me, I cast my own doubts aside, I'm stubborn as a mule if I get an idea in my head. I wasn't as smart as my friends at uni, most of them had really good A levels, I didn't even do A levels, my best results to that date were five GCSEs at C grade and an NVQ in IT, despite that I did my degree. Unlike many of my friends I didn't do any resits of exams or repeat years or fail modules, I just did it in the three years. By the way, if you're thinking of going to uni and had worries like me, you don't have to be really intelligent to go to uni, like everything in life turn up, question everything you read and question everything you think and write, pay attention, work hard and you will succeed.

That's my approach to this election, I'm not the ideal candidate, I am too young. I don't have string of success in business and management to recommend me. I don't have the backing of a huge party and the nice shiny colour leaflets that go with it. I don't have the huge team of willing volunteers working for me like the others. I don't have big wigs coming down from Westminster to shake my hand and get my face and party in the paper. I don't have the connections in local organisations, clubs and societies.

So why am I standing? Well I live here in the division for a start. There's things I don't like about Cornwall Council and Penzance Town Council, there's things I don't like about politics, there are things I want to change. I don't think people like me and my family are well represented in politics at the moment. I learnt a long while ago, that the phrase "someone ought to do something about that" should always be countered with the words you are someone. That's why I am standing. I have my faults, but I don't know when to give up, I don't think anything is impossible if you put your mind to it and I question everything I am told. I'm not your typical politician but I think I have something different to offer the people of Penzance East.

Please vote for me :)


  1. Excellent blog, the reasons given for standing are the right reasons, I'm sure you will be elected and spend a long time in Politics, but keep this blog and read it often, don't forget these reasons. It's hard to make decisions that you know will be criticised by many who are less well informed or take a different view but that's what comes with the job, but if you make that decision for the right reasons you will be able to sleep at night. In a few weeks 20 people will be asked to make decisions for the 21,000 who live here, less than 40 have been brave enough to put their head above the parapet most I'm sure for the right reasons, I look forward to seeing you as one of those 20.

    1. Thanks Dennis wise words. I hope you're right and I hope I bear what I have written in mind in the future, hopefully as a councilor...

  2. Brutal honesty as always from a great candidate for Cornwall council

    The tide is turning

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