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I don’t remember dreaming last night. I often dream. But last night I slept that dark recovery sleep which comes night after night when you have been sleep deprived for a long time. Like Guinness. Dark and deep. No images. But something important got stitched together in the night. As I swung out of bed I knew exactly why I had got so cross yesterday about the livestream being cancelled during the hustings at the St Johns Hustings on Tuesday. Anger is never a good thing, but it is the most important directional kick and motivator available. Incredibly powerful. Understanding it and reflecting on it matters: I always try to do that. I was puzzling about my feelings when I went to bed. But it took a whole night’s sleep to alert me to what had made me incandescent with fury yesterday.
I’d been looking in the wrong place for the answer.
Last night’s sleep brought me back to another painful memory. I am very aware of other candidates’ emotions: I’ve been upset several times. The way candidates are treated is very important. One party leader at the Tuesday railed against his candidate’s exclusion from the platform. I couldn’t help but sympathise. Candidates need so much support and help in doing what they try to do. It is impossible not to see the hurt and pain which they encounter on the way. During the night two memories of anger and a feeling of me personally being badly let down connected themselves together. I’d been reflecting on yet another occasion (yes standing for election is full of drama and high emotion!), but of course: it wasn’t that occasion which mattered.
Nearly the same thing happened before. Of course it did. I was told years ago at another hustings that a professional recording would be made and that it would be broadcast but it never was. My performance on the platform was pretty awful. But the broken promise was what mattered to and hurt me.
This morning I am calm. I realise this is a rerun of what has happened before. There is a pattern. The murderer of tracks may have struck before.
The trouble with getting upset about things is that you can’t always confront the actual problem so you embalm it in a better buried place in your consciousness in order to “move on”. This is especially true if you are a directly affected and traumatised candidate. But as it happens, this week I have a huge advantage. I am not the candidate. True I am in recovery from having been the candidate in two very exciting and over close together elections. But I am deliciously and delightfully free of the specific challenges which every candidates faces: including having to put a lot of very important things on one side in order to deal with the urgent things. And I can sleep. I am looking after another candidate. But I am not him. I can reflect. I can think. Bliss.
A high level of disappointment between what was promised at an event and what is delivered is why I now go equipped with a camera and even a crew if I can assemble one and try to report on the event as well as perform (when I am a candidate) at a hustings. Of course this is entirely because it has happened before. My behaviour is totally conditioned by the occasion which sleep brought back to me. I’d somehow excluded it from my thoughts yesterday even though it was the causative event of my current behaviour. You can only know what it is like to do both jobs if you’ve done it. Candidates shouldn’t need to perform as candidates and as reporter. Multiple reasons why not, including obvious bias.
It isn’t an accident that I’ve never been elected. For me that is never, has never been the most important thing. A functioning democracy is far more important to me. I was aware when I started my blog things didn’t work properly in Peterborough.
Well here’s a very important example of things going utterly wrong. If you have an election, voters need to see the candidates as soon as possible so that they can make as good a decision as they possibly can.
Anything which supports that process is contributing to the workings of democracy. Huge numbers of people not directly involved in the party political processes help the democratic process to work as well as it can. They often don’t get a thank you. The vast majority get absolutely nothing in return. We need more of them and they need to be supported and feel far more empowered.
Anything or anyone which obstructs that needs to be identified and exposed.
Nobody and nothing should have had the power to murder the livestream on Tuesday. The host of an event is in charge and a candidate at a public event is in a public place. So how was that even possible?
So today I’ve decided to stop yelling frantically on twitter, get out the meditative garden fork which is my blog and ask people what they can tell me about these recordings and who stops them being broadcast and why. And if they are used, who uses them. Comments are open if you can talk openly (you can comment anonymously too). But you are very welcome to use my contact form (see top right) if you can’t talk openly.