About six months ago – yes it’s that long – people in the local Lib Dems began talking about manifestos for May’s elections. At the time I had been thinking of standing for a couple of months (Community Land Trusts takes up a lot of my non-work time and so it was potentially a difficult decision – could I achieve more of what’s important to me by better remaining out of politics and pushing CLTs or by being on the council). Inspired by the Oxford Inspires call for visions of Oxford I began to write a personal statement about why I wanted to stand so I could measure up which role I would feel was the more potentially effective.
Well last night we gathered in the Town Hall to see the group’s manifesto for real. As was the case the last time I remember doing this, probably back in 2002, I think it’s necessarily quite “dispassionate” in that it’s got to be presented to all sorts of people and groups in a way that is clear and not too long (and even summarized into half a dozen bullet points for this age of sound-bite politics), and so I would like to put forward my ideas of what it means for me, what I will personally be wanting to do about the issues it deals with, so if I am a candidate on a ballot paper near you, you can judge for yourselves.
So over the next few days, I’ll be posting a few pieces on what I see are the important things that I personally would like to do something about in Oxford, and what I would like to do about them. I hope they are not at odds with anything that may eventually be published as the party’s official manifesto for Oxford, but if they are, you, dear voter, as well as you, dear colleague, will at least know where we might differ in the years ahead if I’m with you or for you on those red benches.