the word and the image too (or a plan for chester)

I signed a petition today.  The #freezethatbill petition.  The one I mentioned yesterday.

I spoke to some people on the stall.  They’d been getting a good response, even getting people to join the Party.  Some achievement in these unparty-political days.

I also spoke to the newly appointed full-time organiser for the constituency of Chester.  He was looking for a place to stay.  At least until 2015.  At which point we might argue the mission will hopefully be accomplished.

He had a plan.  Or maybe not quite yet.  Maybe the plan still needed a bit of work.

As it should be.  You can only organise volunteers when you get to know them – only then can you properly see what makes a place as different as Chester tick over; what makes it actually decide to get up and do stuff too.

A plan for Chester.  A strategy for the nations that make up these islands.  And maybe a sense of guilt for what we allowed to escape us last election.  Looking at the sheer scale of the brutal dismantling of this social support system we spent such a long time constructing, from legal aid to the NHS, from spiritedly secular education to the beginnings of a decent social care network, there is plenty to feel guilty about.

It wasn’t just the politicians who got it wrong last time round.  We did too.  We ought to remember that before we lambast too much.

A plan for Chester.  The plan for Chester.  The plan which must include grassroots Cestrians first and foremost.

We don’t need populist messages to attract just the voters – we need populist messages to attract the activists to our ranks.  Only then – self-propelled – will they decide to spread the word.

The word and the image too.

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