OK, so if you are on Twitter and you engage in anyway with Colchester then you will have come across this blog’s protagonist.
The account UKPP is synonymous with freely-voiced opinions and many of them.
I must issue a warning that this blog will contain language not for the delicate, as Mr Christopher Lee (not that one) Independent Candidate for Greenstead doesn’t keep his mouldy tomatoes in his recycling bin – they are wielded with a ready hand and aimed with a keen eye.
Say hello to Mr Lee (and his intriguing machine)…
“I’m Christopher Lee, 37. Born in Wolverhampton and then lived in Telford until I moved to Colchester in 1991. I lived with the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire and his wife who was Lady in waiting to the Queen when I was younger. As a little kid it left me thinking everybody knew Her Majesty! Move forward a little and I’m doing several tours of a Women’s Refuge because my sister’s father was a bell end. It was in the middle of the night that my Mum grabbed literally what she could carry and booked a taxi to Greenstead for herself and four kids. 1991 was my first year at secondary school and it’s when I started at Charlie Lu. Despite the reputation it had Charlie Lu was an excellent school and I’d like to take a moment to mention Graham Small, my head of year. I owe him a lot more than just my grades.
After school I went to the sixth form to do my A levels in Maths, Physics and Electronics but I was kicked out eventually for 35% attendance. Not a surprise really, on the day that I left I was working full time for Apex Roofing. I fell out with my Mum and she kicked me out during my later teen years. Don’t think less of my mum for it though, I’d earned it!
After that I ran away with Gypsies. I spent the turn of the Millennium in Northampton town centre with them. After I was sold from one to another I had to call it a day. Believe me when I say the modern day slave trade is alive and well in the gypsy community.
Made it back to Colchester and spent the next 8 years on the council housing list. A mixture of rough sleeping, sofa surfing, the night shelter and I went off reservation for it over such a period of time. This was a good thing though, it meant I qualified to actually get some help now and Bernard Brett on Southway gave me a roof over my head.
I know first hand what difference just the tiniest bit of stability can make. Anybody that surprised I get so furious that Firstsite got more funding in January than the Women’s Refuge and Night Shelter got all last year? It’s time CBC started to take their heads out of their arses because for all the years I was floating around this town they were no help. Timmy and his little crew have got it stitched up nicely. Anthony Roberts can have £50k for a treasure hunt but Age UK can fuck off because Age UK don’t host Timmy doing his comedy gigs. Firstsite can have another £100k because Timmy needs somewhere to have his launch parties. How about a young teen who had a rough time of it and needs just the tiniest bit of support? Where’s their help? I don’t claim to have all the answers I just claim that I’m not going to preach about protecting green spaces while screwing my placards to Silver Birch trees! Let’s not get all wide eyed at grand schemes and see what we can do with what we have already. Take it from someone who has been up and down the country lots, Colchester is great. Let’s work on that.”
Colcestrian – Simple one to get going – what’s your full name and what do you like to be known as?
Christopher – Christopher Lee. Call me anything you like, so long as I know you’re talking to me I’ll probably answer anyway.
Colcestrian – What do you like most about the Ward you are standing for, and what made you want to stand this time?
Christopher – I’m standing because no one else is. Sure we have councillors by name but that’s about it. Like the piece through the door recently from a certain Timmy “Work hard all year round – not just at election time”. This was delivered as a newsletter that only appears at election time. They just talk so much shit! “We are always available, accessible and accountable” Just not when you have a real question to ask. That’s when their availability and accountability goes out the window and the “5 ways to get in touch” that are written on the newsletter that includes Twitter and the @Tim4Labour account becomes “Nah, don’t do Twitter”. Guess how many ward councillors spoke up at the planning meeting that decided adding another Sainsburys to Greenstead Roundabout was a good idea? About the same as the number of local residents asked how they’d like the £6k community budget spent too I’d imagine. Don’t you love those new clipart signs Greenstead has? Just what the community needed!
Colcestrian – You do live in the Ward, what do you think about candidates standing in Wards they don’t live in?
Christopher – Knowing the ward you’re standing for is more important than where you live. Best way to know the place is to live in it though but it’s perfectly feasible to have someone live in the ward and not know the place at all. Technically both me and Timmy live in the ward but it’s because I grew up here that I know that Longridge/Elmstead Road are as much a part of Greenstead as Elmstead Market is. Keep that talk up and Beth Chatto will come twat you round the back of the head with a spade!
Colcestrian – As an Independent, why did you choose to go it alone?
Christopher – I don’t do party politics, they’re all equally bogged down in playing the game rather than focusing on the outcome. You don’t get elected by being busy, you get elected by looking like it. Even if that means stopping actually being busy to do some jazz hands.
Colcestrian – As an Independent, do you think Westminster politics will affect your votes?
Christopher – Westminster politics is the reason I want a ‘None of the above’ option on the ballot paper.
Colcestrian – Everyone needs a break – what are your favourite hobbies?
Christopher – Hobbies? I’ve heard of them, they’re a part of that thing called spare time aren’t they?
Colcestrian – When not doing politics, what does your day usually consist of?
Christopher – Building, gardening and clearing up after my daughter.
Colcestrian – How do you feel Colchester Borough Council currently performs for Colchester?
Christopher – I think CBC performs poorly. They’ve got some good ideas but the priorities are all wrong. Basic services first, arts and culture when that’s taken care of.
Colcestrian – What is the best thing about Colchester and what one thing would you change tomorrow about Colchester if you could?
Christopher – Best thing about Colchester is the history. Worst thing that I’d change straight away if I could would be the road layout.
Colcestrian – What would you do for women’s rights in the town once election day is passed?
Christopher – See above.
Colcestrian – What is your view on the spread of fines for the rough sleeping and homeless?
Christopher – Fines for the homeless are ridiculous. What if they don’t pay? Prison is just threatening them with regular meals and a bed.
Colcestrian – Do you think the ‘Living Wage’ is truly a living wage?
Christopher – I think the living wage is all a load of bollocks. You’d be surprised how little you can live on when you have to. Whatever arbitrary figure you use begins on a timeline to being too little.
Colcestrian – Are you happy to keep promoting Colchester as a welcoming place for refugees?
Christopher – I’d rather not put specifications on who we are welcoming and who we are not.
Colcestrian – What is the biggest problem in the Ward you are standing in?
Christopher – The Labour party is the biggest problem in the ward at the moment.
Colcestrian – Which green and ecologically-wise policies do you think Colchester borough should instigate?
Christopher – I think CBC should implement 90% of the Green Manifesto.
Colcestrian – Tollgate Village, Northern Gateway… views?
Christopher – My views on Tollgate Village/ Northern Gateway are irrelevant. As are the views of all those who have commented without taking the time to study the situation in depth.
Colcestrian – Do you think our current government and electoral system is fit for purpose?
Christopher – No, I don’t think government is fit for purpose. I’d like to see the Speaker of the House thrown in the Thames and HRH Prince Harry to take his place. I’m pro monarchy but I’d rewrite their role in government as currently they’re just bystanders. We all contribute to the lifestyle they have and in return they represent our interests.
Colcestrian – Are you having second thoughts?
Christopher – Had second thoughts, had third and fourth too. Every time I do think about it it’s the same conclusion. I could do a better job.
For balance, the next blog will be a certain Tim Young…
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If you are a Candidate who hasn’t already connected with me, I have to apologise as I’m at capacity now. Hope you still enjoy the rest of the blogs coming from the backlog I have collected. Do please engage with the public yourself – get on Facebook, Twitter, etc – onwards to election day!