Enter The Dragon

I’ve just been sitting watching Newsnight, while wrapping up the last of Baby Boudica The Elder’s birthday presents for tomorrow. As a family we’ve come a long way in the very nearly 8 years since he was born. I don’t think parenthood has turned out to be the way we thought it would, but then I don’t suppose it ever does. We were so ridiculously unprepared for the high maintenance small person that arrived, but have somehow coped through all the trials and tribulations and always come out fighting.

We never really know what’s around the corner,
so sometimes it’s just best to keep the foot on the gas and see where this crazy ride ends up.

Talking of crazy rides, one of the Newsnight topics tonight was a debate about what has become known as ‘Harriet’s Chariot’ or the pink battle bus. Labour’s attempt to engage with the female voter. Because clearly we’re all attracted to pink like bee’s round a honeypot, it’s futile to resist. You have breasts, therefore you like pink. Obvious really ;)

The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t really matter what colour the bus is, engaging more female voters has got to be a good thing. My Grandmother went to great lengths to install in her girls that we must vote. Women died to get us the vote and we mustn’t waste it. For so long we didn’t have a voice, to not use it now we have it, would be churlish. Sadly, not everyone thinks the same.

I’ve been out and about a lot recently and several women have told me they don’t vote as they never have done, they don’t understand politics and it doesn’t really affect them anyway, it’s something men are interested in.  I’ve found my jaw doesn’t hit the floor now quite as much as it did the first couple of times I heard this.

So, Newsnight tell us the Tory’s have a problem with Mums, Mum’s either don’t vote or they vote Labour. They had a nice little graph to illustrate this, I can’t remember the figures but they weren’t great. Politics has a huge image problem for women; for a start most politicians are men and secondly, when you see them in the House of Commons they behave like children, indulging in behaviour the rest of us wouldn’t tolerate in our 5 year old’s, who thankfully haven’t got a say about running the country yet.

It’s off putting to say the least. Women need to be engaged, to realise that their voice is very important. Politics affects almost every area of their lives and some don’t really seem to grasp that.  Too often I’ve heard “They’re not like us, they’re not normal people” and maybe that’s part of the trouble too.

So,  why have I been out and about a lot recently?

Because this “normal” person decided that instead of sitting around moaning and whining, saying that “someone ought to do something about that” and “how come there aren’t any normal people in politics” and writing ranty blogs to try and change the world, that I would get up and do something about it.

I came to the conclusion that if you really want to change things, you have to do it from the inside.
Just banging on the window isn’t enough, you have to be in the room.

So way back last March, I applied to stand as a Borough Councillor for the Conservatives. Yes, anyone who has read the previous ranty posts that have originated on my keyboard, will know that I have had issues with them. I was brought up a Conservative but wasn’t entirely sure whether that was where I should be staying. I can’t say I agree with all of their policies, and was in fact brutally honest about that at the interview.  Which incidentally, was about the scariest thing I’ve ever done: A 15 minute selection interview in front of a panel of 8, including local party Chairman and the Leader of the Council.

I can’t have fluffed it up too badly (or as Mr Boudica puts it “they must be desperate”), as I have a ward allocated and have less than 3 months to persuade the people of my ward that they should be voting for me – The interfering, gobby one who is unlikely to be silenced easily once she’s got a bee in her bonnet.  Apparently that’s seen as a positive!  It’s currently a Conservative held ward, the present councillor is retiring and has been a great help and source of knowledge. I’d hate to lose the seat (how embarrassing would that be?) so I’m out every Saturday talking to voters.

So my first foray into politics has led me on the campaign trail, and if I’m totally honest, I absolutely love it. Getting out talking to people, finding out what they really want in their local area, helping out where I can. It may not be earth shattering, it might not change the world, but baby steps people, give me time. At the moment, if I can help one person out, make them think their voice really does matter amongst all the noise of everyone else, then that’s great, I’ll settle for that.

It’s also scary as hell. Everything has to be done in the right way, there’s paperwork to do, literature to write and photographs to be taken. It’s a steep learning curve but with the support of the local party, anything is possible. They’ve been incredibly supportive of the new girl, even with all her insane questions and apparent lack of confidence in just about everything.

So watch this space really. Who knows what the future will hold, today the Borough, tomorrow the world?





18 Responses

  1. Fantastic! That’s so amazing that you really did go and do something about it! I’m seriously impressed and hope you winy our seat.

  2. Yay go girl,
    Lets see if you can’t get more women voting we certainly need them.

  3. what a fantastic journey you are on! I think its super important to vote, we can’t still and slate any of the parties if you didn’t vote to make changes in the first place .. Good Luck :-)

  4. Good luck with your campaign. Hope you manage to get more women to vote.

  5. Oh I absolutely salute you. I often think about this and think that more people should go down this route. Sadly 70% of the people are sleep walking. Good on you to actually do, and put your rants into action. Too many people are apathetic xx

  6. Oh well done you! I’m a great believer that if you want something doing you have to do it yourself!

  7. Hannah Staveley

    I think its very hard and I have to say having my disabled child is stressful but would not change her for the world.

  8. I am in awe of you for standing up for what you believe in and actually going out and making a change. I have always rather fancied doing the PR and marketing for the Tories targeting young voters (I am thinking policies on beer mats and back of urinal advertising “one in the eye for Ed Miliband”) but perhaps the much more interesting challenge would be getting female voters on board. I really hope you do well and I will definitely be turning out to vote!

  9. WOW! go you, and best of luck with the campaign. I have a friend on the local council and the amount of hard work that goes into what he does is impressive so I applaud you (and anyone doing the same!)

  10. Well done for getting up and doing something. I think you are really brave to put yourself out there and good luck

  11. That’s fantastic! The very best of luck in your campaign I take my hat off to you to do something so brave and amazing :)

  12. I think it’s great that you have got involved in politics. I feel it is incredibly important to vote as women have died for that right. We need to engage our young people especially.

  13. Wow, well done you.
    I’m so impressed

  14. Not very inspiring for Tory’s to get the vote as how can they say that Women don’t Tory – it’s a flaming anonymous vote!
    I think people aren’t voting as much in general, and in turn are not convincing the next generation to vote (male and female) and that this does need to change\.

  15. Well done you – good luck with the campaigning x

  16. way to go you , you should be proud , very impressed x

  17. Wow, that’s amazing! Well done – so many people talk about wishing things were different and do nothing about it, good for you for standing up to make change! Good Luck.

  18. We may be on different sides politically, but I still think you are awesome – takes guts to stand up for what you believe in and put yourself out there (more guts than I appear to be able to find despite my rantyness on occasion!) – best of luck to you!

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