One of my photos


March 4th, 2005 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

I had a very lucky escape on Thursday evening.

It was the AGM of the Crawley Labour Party, which is where all the jobs are dished out. Supposedly various people are nominated to posts and everyone votes for who they most want to do it, but I can’t remember the last time there was more than one person willing to be nominated for anything. The normal protocol is that a post is announced and everyone tries not to make eye contact with anyone else. A few people will say “what about such-and such?” a few people then ask that poor person if they are interested and if they give anything less than an unqualified and unambiguous refusal somebody will shout out “nominate such-and-such” and someone else will shout “seconded” immediately so there is no chance for the poor bastard to say anything, and the chair will jump in and, speaking at the pace of a cattle-auctioneer ask if there are any other nominations (as if!) and does the meeting accept this person. Hands will fly up at a speed barely detectable by the human eye and someone has a job for a year.

This year we needed a chair. The current chair said he would not stand again, and indeed was not at the AGM because of working out of town. Several people tried to persuade me to do it. In fact I think that most people expected me to want to do it. Last year I was chairing a committee of the council and was lined up to chair the council itself this year, before losing at the local elections, so maybe everyone thinks I miss being in charge of something. While it was a bit flattering to be asked, and it was a little tempting, I would prefer to cut back on my commitments and get on with my life for a while. Besides, who really wants to chair the party during an election year?

I did get stitched up a bit though as I let myself be elected as a deputy chair, and I just know that the new chair is bound to miss a few meetings and I will have to stand in. I wonder if this means I have to go to the executive committee meetings too and chair them if Jasmine doesn’t turn up? I suppose I should ask, but I’m not sure I want to hear the answer!

This is not to say that I am not committed to working for a Labour victory in the elections and to try and improve things generally: I just can’t face the party meetings, which can get petty, and I get frustrated by the way everyone always goes off on tangents and nothing seems to get done. Of course, a good Chair would control a meeting properly and steer it properly, so maybe I just don’t have enough confidence in my abilities to do that at the moment.

Anyway, back to the racism thing. I have been wondering why it is that foreigners who live over here are called immigrants, while Brits who live abroad are called ex-pats. I think I shall start referring to Pakistani ex-pats and English immigrants in Normandy.

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