So, that's another ConkerTU in the bag! Blogged an update about it over at www.conkertu.com. Some nice e-mails coming in after the event too. My son is 16 on Saturday and after three weeks of solid work on Zero-credit, ConkerTU, marking, planning and parents' evenings I hope you'll forgive my ducking out for a bit of family time after this post. Looks like I'll be baking most of the weekend too - chocolate and ginger fudge cake!
Perhaps the most rewarding part of the weekend for me personally was to talk in depth about the @2356percent campaign and doorstep lending with the Liberal Democrat contingency at ConkerTU. I must say I was well impressed with their knowledge of the issues and steps being taken to address them. Such a shame that the local party was suspended recently, when they are clearly doing such fine work, but then the finer points of party politics are lost on me. As an advocate of individual integrity, I just want to see representatives capable of intelligent discourse with one another and committed to the constituencies they serve. And I'm happy to say that was very much the impression I had of all the South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire candidates.
One great upshot since the weekend is the suggestion that a local husting might be held, inviting local people to question the PCCs. Apparently, given the occasion that ConkerTU gave them to talk to one another, the North West Leicestershire candidates have agreed in principle to such a debate. I must say that I find it immensely inspiring to serve as a catalyst to re-engaging the electorate. I believe passionately that most folk want to do the right thing and above all be seen to be doing it, thus the more we sling mud, sleaze and mistrust amongst one another, the more we debase our democracy. The media has a great deal to answer for in relation to low electoral turn out because now more than ever we need decent folk to be motivated to become involved in politics, not silenced by fears of some sordid exposure.
Irrespective of who wins or is likely to win at the next General Election, the task ahead is not going to be an easy or a comfortable one and we don't need the Paxmans of this world to unmask this self-evident truth. Indeed it may well be the case that we see no winners at all. Our economy is already so bipolar in terms of income and wealth that any policy which serves to cement this further is fundamentally flawed. We must look far deeper into our history than the Great Depression of the 1930s, for we are far from being in a dip within the last century or so. In a post-colonial era, which has endured centuries and not decades, we have no choice but to accept humility as our lot: recognition that the earth's resources cannot endure the infinite plunder of materialistic greed.
But such prognosis need not be downcast: within our culture, heritage and civilisation is the capacity for greatness and innovation too, for what else were the abolition of slavery and foundation of a welfare state? Each party has contributed to some aspect of social reform, and call me naive, but on this occasion, I'd quite like to see a parliament that is, well, hung!