The highlight of the day was being allowed to get the colouring pens out (the dangerous PERMANENT ones) and make a placard for the protest we held outside Walsall Town Hall tonight. I probably went to town on it but saving Walsall Countryside Services is a worthy cause. After spending a happy hour carefully colouring between the lines I declared it finished and suitably poignant. I hope the message wasn’t lost on the Councillors we canvassed.
We had a fair turnout, fair being a couple more than we expected but I would have hoped a few more souls could have found a hour on a Monday night in Walsall. It seems that in these enlightened, social media led times, that direct action is becoming a thing of the past. It is very easy to click a “like” button but not so easy to show the face behind the thumb. On the whole, we were well received, a number of Councillors took time to stop and discuss our issues, most took a leaflet, which was at least polite whilst others refused eye contact and the proffered flyer. I would say to those that can’t be bothered to at least humour the efforts we made, that you are a representative of the people of your ward and whilst you may not want a secure future for the green spaces, some of the people who voted you in might. To waft a hand in agitated dismissal shows no respect for the electorate, the town or your position. I suspect the hand is less wafty when collecting the expenses cheques.
After the protest, we went to spectate from the visitor’s gallery. Green spaces weren’t on the agenda but it was interesting to see how the council worked. I have to say I expected something different. I didn’t expect questions to be answered with carefully scripted passages. I sort of expected politicians to be capable orators, with the ability to “shoot from the hip”. Hell, I could read an A4 sheet and deliver it far better style. No wonder Boris Johnson got so far. I had this image, a belief even, that these elected representatives would pronounce on matters of gravity for the future of Walsall but alas it appears that the cost of a phone call or the amount of coach parking in the town centre was as exciting as it was going to get. A brief highlight was a question on bringing the Staffordshire hoard to Walsall. A full ten minutes was spent explaining that Walsall wasn’t capable of looking after the Hoard but may consider putting a sign up, pointing to some freshly dug earth in a field in Hammerwich. I almost got my colouring pens out to save them some money.
Tomorrow we are making a film for the Police, it will be part of a briefing pack for the new Policy on scraping injured cyclists up off the road. I have been asked not to wear blue, my hope is that they get a stunt double to do a voice over to disguise my Northern-ness,