In my ongoing quest to find purpose in my retirement life I have ended up becoming the chairman of the branch of a political party. To protect the innocent and the guilty I will not say which party or where.
My rise to this lofty-ish position came somewhat unexpectedly following the resignation of the previous chairman.
Despite me only being a member for a matter of months, he’d somewhat took me under his wing and despite my dislike of committees, persuaded to become deputy chairman. I agreed on the basis that the role wouldn’t involve me doing anything!
Anyway to my dismay he resigned rather suddenly a few months ago pushing me to the fore.
Politics has hardly inspired me these last few years but I thought I’d give it a go and see how I felt about it.
Last night was the first meeting I chaired – somewhat delayed due to Covid – and I have to say I really enjoyed it.
Of course carried out via Zoom videoconference, I’d spent an hour or so working through my agenda before the meeting, and felt like I knew what I was doing.
I don’t know whether this is typical of all political parties but there appears to be no job description for my role, nor any clear objectives. Having run my own business for 30 years that suits me, I can shape it in the way that I want.
I was lucky that despite our local MP being in Parliament between votes, he found the time to zoom in for the first part of the meeting.
Rather than telling us all about what he’d been doing, he was happy to get feedback and answer questions which was just what myself and the other attendees wanted.
Questions around access to GPs, the performance of the NHS through the pandemic and how business was to be supported in the event of another lockdown were directly and honestly answered. If only all politicians could be like that all the time.
The rest of the meeting was about building up the committee, agreeing objectives for next year and how County Council candidates could be supported in their campaigns ahead of the May elections.
All ran smoothly, everyone contributed, some clear action points were agreed and the meeting finished on time.
Having the deadline of preparing for the meeting and then having to put myself out front and make things happen felt good.
It feels like I’ve got some sort of purpose now for at least for the few hours a month it takes me to manage the role.
My actions from the meeting will enable me to chat to a few of the members plus I’ll have a bit of a role in organising a social event that will take place next summer Covid permitting.
So here I am to my pleasant surprise liking my new role as Mr Chairman – that’s what Mrs Jones called me after the meeting with a Marilyn Monroe-esque breathless lisp. If nothing else that made it all worthwhile.