It’s time, I think for one of my period posts to draw attention to the excellent, incisive and beautifully written work of fellow local blogger and old online pal Linda Mason, aka The Mad Old Baggage.
Linda has written a couple of blog posts recently that I think are worth reading if you have any interest in local, current affairs. I’m sure readers will be aware that following a sudden rash of serious crime in Aldridge including bank robberies and the tragic, awful murder of James Brindley there has been a great deal of concern about law and order in the area, with a particular focus on policing.
To this end, there has been a very well attended community meeting at Aldridge Community Centre which was very professionally organised; there has also been much discussion, particularly on Facebook. Linda wrote up her experience of the meeting, and some of her views upon it, to a generally positive reception, although the article appeared to cause disquiet in some quarters.
In the context of this, and of Linda’s other current concern, the proposed sundial on The Croft, Linda has written a subsequent post about the nature of community, activism and the general community conversation, and those who seek to represent us and out views. I commend this to anyone with an interest in democracy and community.
Years ago, what seems to be a lifetime ago, I wrote the following of politicians, and appointed ‘community leaders’, those who I saw as self-appointed or otherwise:
Remember, none of these people were elected by a majority of their constituents; they are mostly complete amateurs and make decisions about how to spend large amounts of your cash, with little experience of development. We need to keep an eye on what they’re up to.
Whilst this clumsy, lumbering paragraph hasn’t become any more elegant over time (like my writing skills, which if anything have worsened) the sentiment remains true: Democracy and accountability are key to community harmony, and that means involving everyone we can when listening to, and speaking for our communities and not just serving the people in our immediate audience.
I salute anyone working for the community, particularly those working hard to heal and address community concerns in Aldridge and understand how hard it is, but like Linda posits, that doesn’t come without responsibilities and some concerns.
Read Linda’s wonderfully eloquent piece by clicking here, and whilst you may or may not agree you will. I feel, acknowledge that it’s a thought provoking, sharply observed piece of work that requires consideration.
Linda remains one of the best local writers and I stand with her in the view she expressed here. It’s great when communities come together, and that’s the way to effect change. But we must be considerate, accountable and democratic in our approach, and above all, totally open.