Leesten very carefully , I shall say zees only once. I generally make it a rule that I don’t sully my blog with my opinions because they’re only mine after all. I also try to steer clear of waterways politics although I do have views. However in this case, I’ll make an exception and declare my thoughts on voting for the Canal and River Trust boater’s representatives. If you’ve got a boat licence you should by now have been sent your voting pack. I haven’t entirely decided yet on my choice but I’m happy to tell you the types of candidate I will not be voting for.
I don’t know how much influence the boaters reps will have, but I expect it depends on how well they conduct their business. One thing I’m sure of is that if they argue amongst each other, we’re done for. We’ll be divided and ruled by the others. This means that whoever does the job needs to reflect the needs of us all, and not any particular group of boaters over another. So my vote will not be going to any candidate that claims to especially represent any single group or type of boaters. No matter how much I might sympathise with their views, there are more important things at stake.
The thing we all have in common is the need to have the waterways in good running order and open for navigation. To my mind anything else is secondary. With the budget CRT now has and the huge challenges of dealing with water supplies, dredging and general maintenance anyone taking their eye of the ball to argue about who is in charge and how much they earn or about minority issues will be fiddling while Rome burns.
I shall vote for candidates who get about a bit and talk to all kinds of boaters and focus on the needs we have in common. I shall reject anyone who takes a pride in being argumentative or intransigent because they won’t make progress, they’ll stunt it. I’m looking for people who can listen, negotiate sensibly, and consult others before putting forward proposals. Lastly and most important of all my vote goes to people with a positive attitude who want to make things happen and build bridges (literally would be good I suppose, but not necessarily).
There. That’s my two penn’orth. Now I’ll revert back to impartial mode.