The opportunity to chair the branch of a political party has come my way. To echo our prime minister the ball has come loose from the back of this very small scrum. Should I pick it up?
I’ve been interested in politics all my life but never had the inclination to join a political party. What with work, family life and other interests I would have been too busy to contribute anything worthwhile.
I’m also not a committee man. Part of my job involved presenting to boards and I think they’re just about the worst way to get things done and a rather sad way to spend an evening
I joined the party – to protect the innocent and the guilty I will not reveal which one – just over a year ago, partly motivated by my frustrations over Brexit plus the desire to pursue an interest, make a difference perhaps.
Not long after joining the newly appointed chairman took a bit of a shine to me and asked me if I wanted to be his deputy.
Since then I’ve been to a few meetings, briefly had the opportunity to stand as a councillor and then have had to witness various disagreements and personality clashes played out via email.
This ultimately led to the resignation of the chairman which leaves me as deputy the obvious candidate to take over.
On one level I feel a little excited about the opportunity, being the chairman means you can lead, shape things, something I have experience of with running my own business. Being the leader will mitigate my dislike of committees as it’ll up to me to make things happen.
I’ll also be in a position with a bit of influence, will be able to play a part in elections, meet some new people and learn a bit more about how a political party operates.
On the downside it will involve a certain amount of work, running meetings, understanding the rules and being responsible for getting things done.
It also means having a bit of profile locally which I’m not wholly comfortable with. I feel that party politics – as opposed to expressing views on particular issues – is for the individual. I’m not, for example, the sort of person who uses social media to spread the message which feels just too intrusive to me.
Being chairman will undoubtedly necessitate more being sociable and managing people – the thing I liked the least about running my business – and from what I’ve seen there are a few fragile egos that need managing. At least as the boss of my own business I get paid for this sort of aggro.
All things considered I am though minded to give it a go. It will give me some of the purpose I’ve been looking for, it will be an experience, I might be able to make a bit of a difference and it could lead to other opportunities.
If I don’t like it I can always pack it in so I’m now going to send my email confirming my acceptance of the role of acting chairman. Here goes, a new chapter begins.