It’s time for a ballot box revolution

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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They say that we get the leaders that we deserve, although I am not sure who “they” are and just what we have done to deserve the motley crew of social misfits and barmpots that we have today.

I know the world of politics has always been populated by people you wouldn’t pick for your school playground footy team, but even the likes of Neil Kinnock had a semblance of common sense and self-awareness. Enough to decamp to Brussels with the family, trade in his socialist values and in return pocket a few million pounds from the European Union for servicers rendered.

Norman Lamont (the one with the yoghurt pot on his head) almost bankrupted thousands of Peterborough homeowners by doubling interest rates in the late 80’s, but at least his arguments sounded plausible and he believed in them, however misguided they were.

Of course it’s always been far worse in America - The country that elected a “B” movie actor, Ronald Reagan, to the highest office in the land of the free. His performance was lauded at home but his sabre rattling on the world’s stage almost brought the nuclear curtain down for us all.

Then there was George W Bush - Poor George, a man who thought that he was completely “Misunderestimated” but was nonetheless confident that “Human beings and fish could coexist peacefully”. His incompetence might have been funny had it not cost so many innocent people their lives.

However, the politicians of the past have nothing on those that have their eyes set on power today - The likes of Trump, Corbyn and Johnson.

One blindly seeks to blame all that is bad in the world, on a religion that promotes peace, without recognising the part that America played in stoking the fires of those that hijack Islam, for their own barbarous ends.

Another thinks he can keep this country safe with torpedo-less, submarines and a talk first, shoot later approach to terrorists brandishing AK47s. What next, guns without bullets?

Whilst Boris Johnson, alleged Prime Minister in waiting and King of Wiff Waff, is a man who can’t go a day without adding to his global itinerary of apology and mad ideas, far too numerous to mention here.

They and their cohorts, are a breed apart, like some alien race that has quietly embedded itself in the upper echelons of our society for their own, secret ends.

Locally you can still find the odd “Normal” politician whose intentions are good and whose ideas pass the common sense test, but increasingly the majority seem to come from another planet.

How else can you explain some of the decisions that are made and the plans that are given the green light in this city?

But it is not too late to fight back against this invasion of the weird, into our political system, starting with this May’s local elections, when all 60 council seats will be up for grabs at Peterborough Town Hall.

So I call on Martin the accountant, Sylvia the hairdresser and Dave the plumber to put down their pens, rollers and ballcocks and stand up for what they believe in.

You don’t have to belong to a party or be part of the system to air your views and beliefs. You might find that your principles and opinions resonate with more people than you think in Paston, Werrington and Stanground.

So let’s help put the normal back into politics and give the average man and woman their voice back.

It’s time for a revolution at the ballot box – A revolution of the common people, common people like you and me.