by Stephen Tall on April 22, 2011
‘Lib Dem candidate posts semi-naked fetish photos online’ shouts the local newspaper headline. I suspect it will be one of the more clicked-through articles.
There’s a kind of doomed inevitability to this story, which we’ve seen over the years with candidates from all parties… New person stands for council, with all the right qualifications — community-spirited, motivated, wanting to succeed — except one: they’re not safe.
They have an ‘alternative’ background. You may not find them propping up a saloon bar, or biding their time quietly waiting to become mayor, or ‘turning native’ the moment they’re elected… or any of the other negative stereotypes people often associate with councillors. But they will bring passion, they will bring a fresh perspective, they will make for a more diverse, representative council.
If they get the opportunity.
Because at some point in the campaign their background will become public. The local paper will revel in its excuse to publish ‘racy’ photos. Slowly but surely the chance of alternative candidates being elected reduces, either because voters are put off, or because others who were thinking of standing decide it’s not worth the hassle — to they themselves, or to their family and friends. And so the political circle narrows, constricted to a pin-point.
So let me end simply with this: good luck to Holly-Ann Battye, Lib Dem hopeful for South Northants Council.