To be or not to be

There’s been horizontal snow all day with the wind battering the sash and case windows so they are all rattling to come in on us – every gap whistling with gusts that are making this living room bite with cold.

I’ve been too lazy to fetch the coal from Mum and Dad’s cellar. And the scuttle is full of apple cores and orange peels and sweet papers instead. 15 minutes more. That’s all. Then I’ll don my wellies and waterproof and go fetch.

I’m off today. The kids are at home too as there’s an in-service for their teachers.

In fact I’ve been off since last Friday. The February break has been a welcome one.

The job is neither good nor bad. I seem (wisely but unusually for me) to have suspended all feeling or judgement in respect of it. It’s a job. And that’s probably as damning as I can permit myself to be as I’ve never had ‘just a job’ before.

I do my best. Some cases are interesting. I cling to those which will push or challenge me. But in all honesty none of it is brain surgery or rocket science or – even what I did before. I help people keep their jobs – or help them to an accommodation with reality. Aside from that I simply get on. I’ve even found myself thinking of holidays and planning my year around them. That’s definitely new to me.

I am applying to study at Strathclyde University. That’s something good. An MSc in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Sounds like one of those made-up courses full of nonsense words and gobbledy-gook. But I’ve read through the course outline and recognise the high calibre of some of the teachers. I gained accreditation as a mediator a while back – so this course will build on that. And in the world in which I work the qualification will be very useful – or rather, the skills which I learn will be very useful. Invaluable perhaps. Which can only be good for my employability. That’s a new reason for me to do any further study or learning – I’ve never paid a blind bit of notice to what would make me ‘more saleable’. Ugh. But in this case, I suppose it is true.

I’m also considering putting myself through the candidate selection process for my political party of choice. I’ve half-filled the application. Then I’ve simply fence-sat. Which doubt may well be my answer…

Thing is – I’ve a list of reasons why I shouldn’t do it. But since when have I done what I should do?

MP or MSP? Mmmm.

18 thoughts on “To be or not to be

  1. Just so you know…even if, kittens forbid, you should become a poli****, I will eagerly await your blog post and continue to associate my self with this site…anonymously.


  2. Hahahahahaha! And on that note I can rest easy in my bed… 😉

    Seriously though – it's a horrible thought – me, a politician… pity horrible-ness has never held me back before…

  3. I've just become so cynical about politicians of all hues that all I can say is 'no', don't do it. I know some, perhaps, most people go into politics for the right reason, for ideology, to make things better, but it seems that after they've been elected for a while, either to a council or government, something happens and they become part of the system they once fought against. Not all, of course, but those who remain idealists must find it very disillusioning. This, I know is defeatist and the world certainly needs more good people going into politics.
    Plus, on a person level, it's hugely demanding not just on the individual but also on their family.

  4. You've hit on the nub of it. Impact on family. Though I daresay I'd only ever be a jobbing backbencher – of limited interest to folk with the power to hurt.
    As for the compromise of personal beliefs and values – agreed. I've been close enough to political decisions (lobbying and such like) to have felt the icy blasts of turmoil over choices that seem equally repugnant. I'm a pragmatist Mairead. I've had to practice the dark arts on occasion. Walk the tight-rope between sell-out and total integrity. Could I do it for a living? Mmm. I don't know.
    I do know though that when good people step aside then the way is clear for those whose values have never been pure or good.
    Thanks for this Mairead. Yx

  5. Life is full of minor and major indecisions: coal and politics are prime examples. I detect a parallel metaphor here somewhere… but I have had a long day at work and my creative brain is half asleep.

    Seriously though, if instinct says give it a go, then run with it. Never listen to logic.

  6. Well politics in Italy doesn't bear talking about, worse now that there are elections brewing. Such a slimy broth. And the women are the worst. Faces tugged out of shape, blonde locks, Armani or Prada and if they are young (or Berlusconi tagalongs) obligatory tits. One cannot help thinking of the gaudy Roman empire.

    Then I look at Obama and think, Are we on the same planet?

    I trust you would find a way to do this thing right and for the best reasons. It sounds as though you're ready to put your passion behind something. Xxcat

  7. Hahahaha – now there's a thought! Italian politics! Even from the distance it appears like some weird hybrid: politico-porn. A Soap Opera directed by Berlusconi's toupee… Pity eh? Bet there are some very frustrated good people lurking in there too.

    I had the opportunity years ago – to stand for election. But turned it down because I didn't feel I was up to it. Now I'm old and cynical and probably just at the right stage of life…

    Nah. I'm still the idealistic wain that I was – as driven by 'causes' and 'doing the right thing'. We'll see… Yx

  8. It drives me mad when I'm 'idle' Sarah. I've got to have at least 5 or 6 things on the go at any one time. Then of course I moan about 'having no time'!!

  9. Yvonne, if all the decent, intelligent, idealistic people are frightened off, politics will just get worse and worse. I sense from your post and replies to comments that you really do feel you should give it a go at this stage in your life. If you do and are elected, your skills as a mediator will probably come in extremely handy. 🙂

    PS Do you really want to get old and then regret too late that you didn't at least try?

  10. You articulate what I've always felt – that politics should be a 'higher calling' – for those interested in doing the right and decent thing for the people they represent. I know it can be a rough old game – and I suspect that it's also far harder to retain integrity in the midst of that 'game' than most understand.
    The mediation skills would be a boon! No doubt about that.
    But no – I don't want to have those regrets, Perpetua… thanks Yx

  11. “I do know though that when good people step aside then the way is clear for those whose values have never been pure or good.”

    I was involved with politicians all my professional life and few words are more apposite. It is also true that many idealists and good people join the club and succumb to 'the system' or realise that they have little or no power to change things. But without those people there is no hope. Where there is no hope there is despair. When there is universal despair we are lost.

  12. Jings Graham. I caught my breath on the final sentence. But you are right.

    I've had to reflect – 'hope' – it's the best reason of all to be involved.

  13. Interesting comment from GB – I too am jaded after years of dealing with politicians over various issues.
    If you do go for it – good luck -I reckon you'll resist the pull of pragmatism and 'power at any cost' more than most.

  14. Go for it. And be passionate and fearless.
    My biggest disappointment is how managerial the Labour Party has become. I resigned from the Labour Party over the illegal Iraq War and rejoined recently because I think Ed Miliband is a decent man. But I despair of their consensus approach! I want to see passionate opposition to the Tories in the way that Owen Jones speaks and writes. Do you know him? He's great. And you would be great. x
    I think you would in tha

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