Funny old game, innit.. politics.
So many people say they hate politics. Lots of people hate politicians. I suppose problems can arise because of this.
I got some abuse off some bloke on facebook earlier, for being what he called, a politician. I’m not a politician. I work for a political party, but I’m not an elected politician by any means. I don’t even harbour any hopes that I will be after May the 6th.
We’re not standing in the elections to win. We’ve only been going five minutes. That’s an expectation that’s not even worth hoping for. And besides, I’m really busy with trees and branch building. Not tree branch. Party branch. And we’ve got loads of organisey stuff to do. The last thing I wanna be doing is driving to Cardiff every day to listen to Neil Hamilton. That’s not the point at all.
The point is, in case anyone is wondering, that for a small deposit you can get the posties to go leafletting for you, instead of having to do it yourself. Each party is entitled to one free leaflet drop. We did a crowdfunder to get some leaflets together, and off they go, already, I hear, in Aberdare, according to my buddy who lives there. Awaiting news from Cardiff and Vale chums as we speak.
The reason we’re running in South Wales Central, and not in Mid and West Wales, is quite simply that if you look at an election map, there are swathes of blue and yellow throughout Wales, with a little squirt of red around the valleys. George’s opinion was that if we were to have any chance at all of gaining an elusive seat, it would be there.
To win a seat on the regional list, you need around 6-7% of the vote or thereabouts. Our leaflet is going to 300,000 homes, each potentially containing two or three household members of voting age. So potentially that’s a reach to more than a million people. Much more than our party leafleteers could get round in the same amount of time. We have had a few new members in Cardiff already, so perhaps the leaflet is making its way about the place, and some people are looking. If we can get new members, get our name out there, show ourselves to be up for the game, then it’s all good. We can concentrate on getting ourselves into local council seats next year and keeping an eye on proceedings. We can start looking at campaigns that affect the people of Wales. One of these, of course, is the state of our NHS and the problems people are having all over Wales. There are very few NHS dentists, and highly populated, rural areas simply do not have enough resources or enough doctor’s surgeries to service such numbers. This is resulting in poor levels of care and much frustration for the public.
I dared to bring this up on the council webpage yesterday, wanting to get a feel for how big the problem was in the area, and was frankly a bit shocked at some of the responses. Some very angry people commented repeatedly in quite an abusive way, and much as I hate blocking people, after a certain amount of reasoning has failed, it just becomes abuse.
And here I get to my main point. I’m not even a politician, but already the grief has started. I watch the abuse some local councillors get online. I see the abuse politicians get on Twitter. Our party leader is subjected to more online vitriol than anyone I’ve ever known, even to the point of death threats.
This is from people who say they hate politics. They hate politicians. But if anyone good tries to get involved, they’re instantly subjected to a barrage of abuse by these people, based on assumptions and prejudices. It’s little wonder that people don’t want to get into politics. You have to have nerves of steel, the patience of a saint, and an iron will. You have to care about the people abusing you and rise above it. It’s not easy. This isn’t the first time I’ve had hassle online. And it’s nowhere near the worst. Pretty tame in comparison. The tragedy is, that the bloke actually had some good points, and had he had a bit more patience, and a bit less immediate hate, we could have probably come to some kind of truce and agreement, assuming that we were both after the same thing, ie, an improvement in local health services.
Someone tries to help; they get shot down. Is that an internet thing? I understand a lack of trust in politicians. But if you shoot everyone before they start, the only ones who will persist and put themselves through it are the narcissists, the hard men, the ones who don’t give a shit, who can brush off abuse like they brush off a pub fight. You’ll end up with a cabinet full of self-assured, bombastic, abusive, abrasive psychopaths.
Oh. Look. Neil Hamilton by the water cooler. Please don’t vote me in….