Saturday, 11 February 2012

What a difference a month makes

This time last month...
I was giving serious thought to running as a candidate in the upcoming Canal and River Trust election - and it was warm.

Now - I'm not standing - and it's as cold as - well, it's cold!

As you'll see from my post below, I had put a lot of energy into trying to put together a campaign for a seat on the Council of the Canal and River Trust. The Canal and River Trust - a charity - is supposed to replace British Waterways - a quango which currently manages most of the waterways in the UK.

The election itself has had its problems- confusing about who could run, who could vote, and when people would receive their ballot. It's the first time that an election like this has been run by British Waterways, so it is not surprising that there are teething problems - but there are rather a few of them!

After a week of trying very hard to gain support for my candidacy, I decided to withdraw when it became clear that it would take many, many hours a week to canvass the support I would need to be successful - and, not to point to fine a point on it - but I need to work to eat!

Many of those running are retired, or wealthy. I think this is a real shame - and part of the reason that I wanted to run. However, in point of fact, the real power in the new trust will be held by the management - who will remain the same despite the move into the third sector - and the Trustees. Some of the Trustees do seem impressive - others? Well, we'll see. The only real power the council of the new trust has is to appoint and dismiss Trustees - but the Trustees have the power to dismiss the council - so it's not really got "teeth. The Trustees will also "consult" the council on issues, but are under no requirement to follow the council's guidance.

And the weather? It's cold. Bloody cold. The canal has frozen, and keeping the boat warm is a full time job! Monty has found the best seat in the house - by the fire - and very rarely vacates it. We lesser beings (i.e. Andrew and I) make do....

So, those of you in your heated houses, bathrooms that are not, usually, at an average temperature of about 5c - have a hot bath and think of us.

...and when we're moored in a gorgeous rural idyll, with the doors of the boat wide open and the warm summer breezes gently blowing, we'll think of you!