IS IT ANY WONDER ?
They say a picture paints a thousand words and this one just about sums up today here in deepest Kent, where we have all the fun of yet another election - this time for the Kent County Council.
Now I have to be careful what I say here not least because at least one good friend is gainfully employed by KCC. But it always strikes me that any county council is stuck between a rock and a hard place - between the central government and more local councils such as districts and parishes. The central government and all its doings arouse passionate debate about national and international affairs, whilst district and especially parish councils are concerned with the more local issues that affect out daily lives.
All of which suggests that county councils, whilst perhaps largely and unfairly perceived, are thought of as a bit remote and, of course, like most politicians, theirs share a tendency for us voters to hear from them only at election time.
My personal insider knowledge of Kent County Council is limited to the time when, in a former life over half a century ago, I worked in `administration` at the office of the County Clerk. I had just finished my national service and was pretty desperate for a job to support both myself and the fragrant, recently betrothed Mrs. Snopper and so I was grateful for the opportunity presented by KCC.
But the experience left me with a jaundiced view of life in the marbled halls of County Hall. I would dictate a letter to a comely shorthand typist, get it back, make sure it was OK and then initial the carbon copy, whereupon it was passed on to two other more senior administrators who would themselves initial the carbon copy before the stamped signature of the county clerk himself (one GT Heckels) would be applied. That stultifying, almost Dickensian regime, coupled with my penchant for minor rebellion, ensured that my tenure at county hall was understandably short lived.
I`m sure things are very different today, with the emphasis on management rather than administration, but I`m still left with a feeling of apathy towards those who seek to spend their time as elected members of that organisation, so is it any wonder that I`ll give today`s election a miss especially as the choices on offer are less than compelling. It`s the wrong decision, of course, but I confess to being underwhelmed by it all, despite the teachings of Plato........