Aug. 14th, 2011

As a result of their free membership offer, I joined the ERS in July, and received my ballot papers for their Council elections yesterday morning. Several people I know, including two old friends and a few new ones, are competing for my vote. So I need to think it through and prioritise people.

One of the candidates, Chris Carrigan, has written some notes on the elections on the Reform groups site, which was founded in large part by activists heavily involved in the Yes referendum campaign who were very disgruntled with central leadership. I, broadly, shared those worries and concerns, and will be giving those involved, broadly, fairly high preferences, although nowhere near the order Chris has outlined.

Partially because Andrew Hickey has raised some concerns having read through the full set of manifestos already and noticed things I didn't. As I've said in the comments there, I know in some cases his concerns aren't justified, but can't say that for all the candidates.

So, I still need to decide my full running order, but the early ones are fairly close to fixed in my mind.

1 - Thom Oliver )

2 - Paul Pettinger )

3 - Arnie Craven )

4 - Jessica Asato )

5 - Andy May )

Up to now, all those I've listed have been pro reform of the way the ERS works, although the top two aren't on the Reform slate. My sixth choice? Is the complete opposite of a reformer. He's someone who's talents and abilities I have so much respect for that even if we do disagree on the future of the society, I'd want him to be heavily involved and giving the benefits of his decades of experience. I refer, of course, to 6 - Michael Meadowcroft )

To be honest, due to my knowledge of how STV and vote transfers work, I'm not sure after the last three I'll have much left to transfer on to others as I suspect and hope the last three I list will definitely get elected due to name recognition. Consequently I'm open to suggestions for my remaining preferences, I plan to vote for at least 15 people (the size of the Council), but a small fraction of quota after Michael gets on is likely largely irrelevent. Worth paying some attention to though, as I may be completely wrong and misread the field.

I'm also open to persuasion/suggestion if you know anyone else on the candidates list personally or politically and feel I've unfairly overlooked them. I may simply go with the order from Chris's above list, but I'm not sure how confident I am about some of those he favours. For example, Amisha Ghadiali is [one of] the only [two] visibly BAME candidates, and she appears competent, however her statement both on the website and in the ballot pack is riddled with typing and spelling errors, in one case her actual meaning is unclear. While I'm notorious for typos and similar, if I'm submitting something important for campaigning purposes, I always get a competent proofreader, that's just basic.

To most of you, of course, this is all completely irrelevent, as membership of the ERS is an unusual thing to say the least. However of my personal friends, the proportion involved is higher than the general population, and I welcome feedback from anyone with any interest or knowledge.

ETA: It's been pointed out in comments that I overlooked Eric Syddique when I wrote that line, it's now amended.
This pretty much sums up the reactions of large swathes of talking head commentators over the last week:

When I look back to what I've read about previous riots in London over the centuries, when I look at corruption scandals or financial collapses, it really does put into perspective how lucky we are and have been.

I mean, seriously, riots across all of London, no one very few killed[1] and the London murder rate actually goes down?. Total deaths nationally five, including three men run down by a car.

The bankers are finally brought down, not by deliberate deceit, not by active fraud or theft, but by incompetence and optimism.

Parliament is brought into disrepute in a corruption scandal. What over? A few grand on a duck house, a few grand over claimed on a mortgage, etc. Compare that to many other countries today? Compare that to corruption scandals in the past in the UK?

Moral decay? We've never had it so good.

Scary, isn't it?

ETA: Apparently there's been a death in Ealing that I had overlooked, the post is amended to reflect that.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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