Monday, August 19, 2013

Putting your head above the parapet – and why people won’t bother

It is a simple but unfortunate fact of life that the minute anyone puts their head above the parapet and starts making their presence felt in the community there is someone there waiting to shoot them down.

This applies whether that is becoming involved with a voluntary project or standing for public office, and sometimes you can’t do right for doing wrong,

I have been involved in a substantial number of voluntary organisations over the years – still am, and whilst most people will probably say “good for you” then there are always those who will whisper behind the scenes “there must be something in it for her.”

They will only see what they want to see – school governors getting front row concert seats for instance.  They don’t see or don’t want to know about the not so nice side of the job – the disciplinary hearings, the staff interviews, the pages and pages of policy documents and statistics to pour over, the decisions that can affect future prospects of a generation.

So why do it?  Because it is rewarding in its own way, at the risk of sounding holier than though, doing something that actually benefits the community.

Those who dare to stand for public office of course leave themselves open to even more condemnation, and lord help those who get elected.

It maybe explains why the Labour party locally like to hide away from the electorate and don’t like to engage in any way with residents let lone opponents.  Mick Antoniw, AM for Ponty has blocked me from commenting on his Twitter feed – no doubt because he had no answers to the questions being posed. I wonder how many others have befallen the same fate.

The Councillor for Treforest has this week been bemoaning the fact that a local Facebook site is becoming too political, yet refused to join other sites where he could answer questions being posed about such things as his stance on the paddling pool.

Then those who do engage more openly have to suffer endless comments about how “all Councillors are the same” and how they are all in it for the money, all liars, etc., etc.

Is it any wonder then that most people seeing just what a thankless task it is would never entertain the thought of standing for Council?  And whilst that nonsense is being perpetuated then making any real change is going to be very hard.


Anonymous said...

Everyone out of step again Karen? Except you of course!!!

Must be difficult to be so perfect.

Karen Roberts said...

No it is quite easy - I was born to it