Recently, well at the September AGM I carried out my last duty as the PETRA Chair, and after giving the committee my last ever monthly Chairs report – my 147th in the 13 years I held the position as Chair, I stood down. Jan (my wife) was elected into the post and I’m sure she is, and will be a more effective Chair, as she has skills that I sadly lack. I have noticed that I am getting more and more intolerant of the laziness of some committee members who seem to think the organisation exists purely for them to air their own self-importance. Anyone who has ever sat on any committee may recognise individuals who seem to have an opinion on every subject and feel those opinions are of such importance that they have to speak, at tedious length. I have to admit, as Chair, I closed many of those diatribes down, sometime only seconds after they began. As a result, very few of my committee meeting lasted more than an hour, and sometimes even complex issues were resolved within a busy agenda quickly and decisively. Jan on the other hand does, tend to be inclusive of all styles and will make allowance and time for all committee members to make their points. Clearly, the time came for me to stand down, and I’m sure – all the best wishes that were extended to me that last night, a number will have been thinking “at last he’s gone”! It was therefore a surprise when one particular committee member with whom I have clashed with on more occasions than I care to remember, approached me at the end of the AGM and said “Mike, I am sorry to see you go, as I and I’m am sure every resident of this estate owes you their very profound gratitude, for all you have achieved for us over the last decade and more”. I thought that quite touching considering the volatile relationship we had over the years.
So, with time to take stock of my future, I have tended to get up much later, watch TV programmes that interest me, especially “The Daily Politics show and of course P.M.Qs. (Questions to the Prime Minister). Incidentally, I think Jeremy Corbyn is a long awaited return to socialist values and as far as I’m concerned all those Blairites who stole the Labour Party, the party I joined in 1980, can sod off and form their own warped brand of the war-mongering Tory party. I remember arguing at the time that the party should not scrap “Clause Four” of the Labour Party constitution but of course in those days Blair had mesmerised the plebs into thinking he was a demigod. It did eventually become very clear that Blair’s halo became a collar that George Bush could yank at any time, and yank it he did. All the current “Isis crisis” I feel is as a direct legacy of USA and British blood lust in the middle east and now David Cameron seems to have caught the same or similar fanatical frenzy to kill so called “Jihadis” which in my opinion will mean a huge number of women and children who just want to live their normal lives, in peace, in their own surroundings, all those will be the ultimate victims. If I was ever to get to be omnipotent, I would close down ALL weapons manufacturers, dump the so called nuclear weapons that Britain can’t use without American approval and transfer those billions of pounds into a fund to help our own homeless and hungry families.
Yes, I can hear those who would pontificate over the inevitable loss of our Monarchy and so called “independence” but I think Gandhi had it about right “passive disobedience” from a whole occupied nation is no occupation at all. It’s a costly liability, and not worth the expense of an invasive war.