Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
– Abraham Lincoln
We seem to have forgotten what politics is. What politics is really for. It is not for self-aggrandizement – i.e. for the enlargement of egos – but for serving the requirements of the constituent population: whether this is at national, regional, district, or at parish level. Anyone elected to any governing body should therefore always remember why they were elected; how they were elected; and who they were elected by. To misquote another American president: Ask not what your village can do for you; ask what you can do for your village. Perhaps, whatever your religion – or lack of it – Christmas provides the perfect opportunity for such reflection.
This is therefore just a polite request – from one of your many constituents – that you work together; and work through any differences you may have (amongst yourselves; or with other parties who may believe they hold sway in the village – however delusional their reasons…) for the good of the village. If such responsibilities are not your principal measures – your principal guides – then perhaps you should rethink your relationship with those you serve; or the standing of those who would try to wield over you power that they should not have. I do not – however beautiful the landscape; however generous the majority of my fellow residents – wish to live in a village riven by the selfishness and solipsism of an élite few, who believe, through sheer arrogance (whose only fuel can ever be ignorance), that it is only their wishes and needs that should be fulfilled; that only their supposed ‘vision’ for the Tysoe we all love is correct.
Another request, therefore, is that – particularly with regards to the Neighbourhood Plan – the Parish Council returns to first principles: and asks those of us who live here whether such a plan is actually required; if so, what form it should take, what we think should be in it, and how we would like it to be put together. I would rather this, than have stricture imposed on us from above by those whose perspectives are skewed by either supposed expertise, wealth, or bigheadedness.
And, no, I don’t have the answers. I also don’t have the power; or feel I should have it. I am just one small voice; one small part of this place – who loves it beyond measure; knows, if push came to shove, that it would survive (as it has done for centuries) without the interference of heavy-handed governance; shaped by those forces – internal and external – that invisibly wax and wane in and around it.
What I do know, though, is that I do not want our local councillors to act like the worst combative proponents of the Westminster ‘bubble’. You may disagree with his (and my) socialism – which I must assume many of you would, considering the local demographic – but I doubt if anyone can disagree, deep down, with the politeness, conviction and sheer decency of the way Jeremy Corbyn conducts his type of politics. Such thoughtfulness befits us all. Especially those who have the power to mould other people’s lives. Especially at this time of year.