Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A life more ordinary !

After weeks of excitement with the parliamentary selection, life came crashing back to reality this week when the mundane chores of a constituency agent reasserted themselves. 

The day started at 8am with a call from a flapping councillor who feared he had missed his selection meeting the night before and would therefore be defenestrated. "What I am going to do, oh it's a disaster" he wailed, amid reading out long lists of important sub committees he serves on as justification for his diary malfunction. I put the poor chap out of his misery by reassuring him that the selection meeting was next week, not this. At least I made one person happy.

Jon displays our Cash n Carry goodies
Then it was a trip to West Kent Towers where I picked up the ballot boxes we used on Saturday and returned them to T&MBC (from whom we had hired them) and from there to Bookers Cash and Carry to buy "stuff" for Ann Widdecombe Supper on Friday.

I suggested the Ann Widdecombe Supper as a 'Management Committee Event" and they all agreed enthusiastically. I think "agreeing enthusiastically" was all they thought they had to do and the "event fairy" (don't make up your own jokes please) would do the rest. I am, as always, grateful to the poor bloody infantry for baking lasagna, helping to set-up the room, running the bar and organising the raffle. With the honourably exception of the DC Political, Matthew CF Dickins, who willingly agreed to don pink marigolds, my pleas for help with washing-dishes after a dinner for 90 guests have fallen on deaf ears. Actually, in fairness, another Officer did offer to take a few dirty plates home and ask his wife to put them through their dishwasher, but I declined the on the basis that doing so would probably create more work than it solved. 

The remainder of the morning was spent driving around the constituency dropping of disposable baking trays and recipes with the lasagne bakers. Then back to the office for a long briefing on the benefits of Individual Voter Registration with a local Electoral Registration Officer. This was followed by an afternoon editing councillors' newsletters. Our councilllors' command of purple prose never ceases to amaze and delight me, but the following example deserves special recognition,

"I have helped establish a Group which is now seeking to form a committee to collate the views of others."

My evening was finally occupied by an annual highlight; the General Meeting of the Kent Area Council. This is a committee of the "great and good" of Kent's political elite. Or perhaps a gathering of those too innocent or too inexperienced to say a firm NO when volunteers are sought. There are three representatives from each Association - making 51 in total. When added to the co-opted members, ex-officio members and various apparatchiks we have a committee of 70. Fortunately the South Zone Oberleutnant is never over ambitious in the putting-out of chairs. In fact he has an uncanny knack of putting out two fewer chairs than are ever actually required, giving the impression that more have turned up than were expected. This at least deludes attendees into thinking that it's an important meeting as more people have come than there are chairs. Sadly, few people ever attend a second time.  

Like coiled springs - members of Kent Area Council
remain awake if not alert
Tonight was particularly poignant as we were saying thank you and goodbye to former MEP, Ben Patterson, who was stepping down after three years as Chairman.  Ben informed us that he has served on the Kent Area Council for ten consecutive years, having first been elected in 2003. He regaled us with his full and detailed report of the last 12 months and some of the highlights of the past ten years. Then, with the faintest trace of white smoke, Alex King MBE. was elected as new Chairman.   

I give the last word to our SE Regional Chairman, Andrew Sharpe, who also attended tonight. In thanking Ben for his service, he referred to voluntary work for the Party to visiting Hotel California; you can check-out but you cannot leave.

I didn't think it was appropriate to point out that the Eagles Don Heeley once indicated in an interview that Hotel California was inspired by the time he was a guest at the Camarillo State Mental Hospital.

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