A tale of two phone numbers

I often read the comments on the thisislancashire.co.uk website. I’ll be honest, I’m fairly new to all this politics business and I don’t pretend to know everything about it but what I do know is what I think would work for Blackburn. I am Blackburn born and bred, but now I do live in Darwen (simply due to the cheaper house prices and the nightlife).

My first encounter with Jack Straw was at a residents meeting which my Mum dragged me along to (literally dragged, it was on a Friday night – I mean who organises these things?!).  Once I was there I actually got quite into it.  A discussion very close to my heart came up (thanks to my Mum) – youths.  At this point I was working at a local law firm and knew the youths in the area and often asked them why they committed crimes, or why they thought it was funny to rip someone’s fence down “for a laugh”.  I found myself faced with Jack Straw and various Councillors and an audience and I stood up and said my bit in response to a comment from one of the local residents, “it’s all the parents fault”, something that I feel is not necessarily true.  After a bit of a “heated debate” Jack said to me, “talk to me at the end”, followed by some grey haired man laughing at me and said, “if I knew so much about how to put the local area right why didn’t I get involved”.  I told him why, “because I work full time and have a part time second job at the weekends as I am struggling to pay my mortgage and I am trying to fund my university degree otherwise I would!”  I sat down and my Mum whispered, “You’re in for it now”.

At the end of the meeting I was approached by a really nice lady and man, they introduced themselves (I had no idea who they were) and told me just how impressed they had been and asked for my opinion on various local issues.  This man was Michael Law-Riding, the Tory candidate for Blackburn. Michael told me he’d really like me to help him with his campaign and asked for my phone number and said that he’d definitely be in touch.  I also had a few comments from Councillor’s that where there -the grey haired man who was laughing at me, turns out he’s the leader of the council, Michael Lee, another Tory.  I finished the meeting having a chat with Jack Straw.  I’d never met him before but my grandparents knew him very well when they were alive.  We had a good chat and he also asked me for my contact details.

I don’t judge people by what others tell me, I make my own opinions, same as I think everyone should.  Jack Straw rang me and offered me a job; I’m still waiting for Michael Law-Riding’s call and Michael Lee, you were right, I can’t do anything about my local community and changing it for the better by sitting at home on my computer slagging everyone else telling everyone how wrong they are and how they shouldn’t do things that way.

So I dedicate this blog to the both of you, the two Michaels, because this year I’m standing as the Labour candidate for Livesey with Pleasington, hoping that I will be given the chance to make a difference and starting off with the basics – following through with something I say I’m going to do not just talking about it.  And for those people who chose to comment on the thisislancashire website this is for you – in the words of Michael Lee, “if you think you can do a better job why don’t you stand for council?”

Vote for someone who will actually do what they say they’re going to do! Vote for me on Thursday 6th May 2010.

5 thoughts on “A tale of two phone numbers”

  1. Hi Katie,

    I’m so glad you’ve posted this blog, it just goes to show how easily and understandable politics can be for someone new and fresh to the topic. You are right and your blog expresses how everyone’s voice does matter. Not only just a voice but also showing that you can practice what you preach and do something about it – make a change – vote!

    I wanted to wish you luck with your election and your future with the labour party because you are not afraid of getting to grips with the heart of your community, something that has proven to be difficult for local residents who choose not to vote, or argue different parties without having a great knowledge of what underlies as issues.

    Thank you for your blog and please keep doing your job and doing something you believe in. Voice your opinions and continue to make changes that is for the good of your community. Do not make promises, unlike some, that can’t be kept, even if it is a phone call…

    All the best,


  2. Well Katie I said i’d leave a response so here goes…. change can be made at home, the fact is if enough people started to ‘slag off’ how candidates and representatives are doing things wrong then maybe they’d have to listen, which to my mind is quite ironic because as our representatives … aren’t they supposed to listen?
    In Greek Demo means ‘the mob’, cracy means ‘rule’ … they are our representatives and they are meant to listen, consult and make an informed decision on the opinions presented … oh wait … that was me being an idealist. lol.
    To be honest I think you’ll do very well if your elected, just remember, you’ll be a “representative”, so represent. The British political system was designed to have a candidate who actually listen to the people, so it’s the people who you should trust. Let them be your decision maker and win back the support of the people because as your very well aware, there are too many people out there who are disenfranchised with the current political climate. Me being one of them. And yes I known I should really get off my arse and make the change.
    On a lighter note, a good blog.

    Your friend

    Tom x

  3. Tom,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree with what you’re saying – representatives are there to listen and act on what the people want – however, when they are sat at home in front of the TV telling the TV set how can I do something about it? I am asking people to share it with me.

    I will listen and do my best to help anyone, you know this. Sadly, many people are not interested in politics or not as interested as they used to be due to recent scandals etc however lets work together to do something about it!

    You have a choice Tom, use that choice wisely on May 6th!

    Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

    Katie 🙂

  4. Amazing blog post, Katie. Very well said. And as you’ve seen from the blog post I wrote earlier this week, approachability is key in this day and age. Yes, policies, promises and actions count but to be in the field, actually making a difference, speaks volumes and makes such an impression on the people who need to learn, i.e. my children – aged 18, 16 and 10.

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