Monday, August 2, 2010

The Stalking Horse

Apologies for the last very boring post, that is if anyone is reading it.

So how did I come to be a member of Tynwald?

An interest in politics probably started with the family, where we got up for work one hour before we went to bed, lived in that cardboard box and shared out the gravel as the one meal of the day....

But a life not far removed from that.

I can remember vividly the excitement of the 1959 UK General Election. We had finally been connected to ‘the electric’ and moved from accumulator powered radio, to a real telly. The Tories won again for the third time, and in my then simplistic view, “the posh people” had won. Living on raw moots and cow's milk, we had "never had it so good"

An obsessive interest in politics developed over the next few years. I also remember being on nights as a young PC during the 1966 election and standing discreetly outside a house in Hilary Park for about an hour, watching through the curtains at the results flicking through on a tiny black and white screen.

Later in my career I spent a long time as a representative on the Police Federation, their Union, and got a taste of the cut and thrust of negotiation and conflict with Government.

When I retired in 2001 my plan was to stand for Garff in the General Election in November, but my sister, who had put in nearly ten hard years as a Laxey Commissioner, decided to stand, and it would have been wrong to stand against her.

Milibands - take note.

I was asked to stand for Legislative Council a couple of years later, but decided against it. In 2005 I was asked again, and gave it more thought. I stood with the view that there was no way I would be elected, but it would be good experience if I decided to stand for the Keys in 2006.

So I put my name forward. I now suspect that I was asked to stand as a ‘Stalking Horse’ a sort of Sir Anthony Meyer figure. There were possibly factions within the Keys who did not want some of the Keys and Legco candidates who had put their names forward, and my involvement would have at least ensured there was a genuine contest and possibly taken votes away from the less favoured candidates. At the time I had no idea this may have been the case - and maybe it wasn’t.

In the event, I was elected first time, with 14 votes, along with Donald Gelling and George Waft. I was very surprised - and so I suspect were a lot of the Keys members who had voted that day.

At a Young Farmers concert parody a few weeks later, I was depicted by a character with two large arched eyebrows painted high above the eyes.. Looking very surprised..... Surprised is perhaps not strong enough. I was amazed. I had no friends in the Keys, no connection through clubs or organisations, and had no idea why 14 Keys members would vote for me, or who they were. I still have no idea who the 14 were,

Next Blog - my views of Tynwald before I went in - The Search for Brown Envelopes, and What I Found Out.....

No comments:

Post a Comment