Is anyone reading this?
The Internet has been on tenterhooks waiting for me to let everyone know what I’ve been wittering on about for ages. So I’m going to tell you all. I really wanted today to be the Launch Day for my project, and I’ve been held to the wire by the MYSTERY PERSON who is my catalyst (some might say Poster Boy!)
Mr Catalyst was getting cold feet; nerves had hit; he wasn’t sure of himself or his words – He Was Going To Look Like A Fool!
Well, not on my watch.
Here is the story:
Some time ago I was perusing a post on a well-known local blog Colchester101 (I think it was about Tollgate Village – I seem to recall he spelled Colcestrians wrong ;)) and something hit me about the writing. Yes it was full of passion… yes it was well put-together… yes I agreed with the sentiment, but something seemed familiar. I wandered over to Twitter and realised that someone I argued politics with fairly regularly was the blogger!
This was odd. This person who I felt I had vastly different political leanings to was the same one who produced the blog I thoroughly enjoyed – it was like Peter Hitchens all over again…
The fellow Colcestrian in question, in case you don’t already enjoy his excellent site, is Simon Crow. It was that day that a little seed dropped from the upper part of my mind into the compost at the bottom.
Growing up, I was the product of a Daily Mail-reading, strictly Tory-voting household. It was natural, therefore that as soon as I was able I became a tree-hugging, vegetarian voter for the Green Party. Throughout the years my affiliation has wavered through various parties, and my friends and acquaintances have been of all colours. I find myself today a strong-willed ranty pleb with socialist tendencies, angry at the current government who I consider are causing great harm to our country, starting petitions calling for snap elections, giving newspaper journalists red ears by shouting down the phone at them about all the injustice.
Why then did I so enjoy reading the words of Simon Crow – Mr Colchester101? It dawned on me that the political chat back and forth wasn’t the painful LEFTARD/LOONY LEFTY and TORY SCUM/PIG FUCKER one gets so tired of, but actual decent debate between people really interested in the world, and particularly in Colchester. It was enjoyable. It was interesting. It might even be productive.
I soon also saw that it was the same bunch of people who cropped up time and again on Twitter chatting about Colchester, positing their ideas on relevant local subjects.
At the same time I also saw quite a number of our Colchester Borough Councillors bickering, often in unending cycles of madness or being downright rude to constituents and fellow Councillors.
I thought to myself – we need an Engaged Citizens Group for Colchester. We have excellent local social enterprise groups, we have wonderful teams like Colchester Soup, we have networks of regular people working to welcome refugees… these people are doing just as much good, if not more than the Council!
Then I saw that some of these Engaged Citizens were considering standing as candidates themselves against the very Councillors I saw bickering their Twitter time away. Well, that seed became a seedling and I reached out to Mr Catalyst/Colchester101/Simon Crow and said “If you do end up standing, could I get an exclusive with you?”
So naturally, I began a laborious process of studying all 452,957 candidates standing in Colchester for the 51 seats now available, down from 60 and created a complicated randomized way of picking a couple of candidates from each major party plus a couple of Independents and approached a whole bunch of people. Would you believe it, some said yes?! Some even contacted me!
So here we are, shortly you will see my Q&A with Simon Crow, Conservative Candidate for New Town & Christ Church!
Following over the next couple of weeks, you’ll see SEVEN more!!
If successful, I’ll push on to a second wave, and have already got people involved so fingers crossed. To make sure it happens, comment, promote, share, but most of all READ and ENGAGE! This is all about Colchester People making things happen, from all political backgrounds, some rather surprising. This is about Colcestrians just like you and me. We can all make a difference for our town, for our country, for our world.
Oh, and get out there and VOTE on May 5th!!