Monday, 7 December 2009

On the doorstep

With Christmas coming up we're preparing to take a couple of weeks off door knocking for the festive season. In a way it's a shame because talking to people on the doorstep is such an important part of community politics.

If it was up to me I'd be coming round when everyone's in their paper hats and lounging in front of tele too stuffed to move. However, I've been told that's bad form so you're safe.

Everyone is so used to political parties lecturing us on what we should think that when people come round and ask what your opinion is we can be a bit taken aback. Whether it's the war, the state of the railways or when our bin's collected we're so used to our opinion not counting that we begin to believe that we really don't count.

It's why I joined the Greens because they have a different attitude towards people, community and democracy. It's also why taking the time and the effort to speak to people about their concerns is so much more important than delivering leaflet after leaflet trying to impress on people how important you think you are.

Some of the Crofton Park team wrapped up warm against this week's weather
(left to right; Darren Flint, Anne Scott, Storm Poorun and Jim Jepps)

The three best things about coming to talk to people directly, in my opinion at least, is that you hear all the day to day issues that no-one could know unless you lived near a certain corner, or had dealings with a particular company. You get a real feel for a place and its people. It reaffirms that almost everyone is a decent, polite human being.

Even when people don't agree the worst you get is a "Not today" and a closed door and more usually you still get a nice chat and get to know each other a bit - even if you still disagree at the end.

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