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Picking up after others, or, A Freegler’s Rant

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Things not to do when freegling your item (in no particular order):
1. Decline to provide your full address when making arrangements for freegler to collect. We of course have lots of time to get your postcode off the Internet.
2. Decline to exchange phone numbers. Address and email are fine, but it’s all fallible.
3. Not bother checking your emails regularly to make sure you’re clear on collection details.
4. Be v nasty to freeglers who collect your stuff. Ok, you’re giving it to them, but they’re the ones helping you out – collecting stuff you can’t be bothered to sort/ sell/ take to charity shop yourself. You aren’t the king of the castle, okay? Be polite.
5. Not answer the door when collector arrives, despite being able to hear them and your dog barking his head off.
6. Be out at agreed collecting time. It is not that hard to be in, or have someone else be there. Seriously.

If you manage to do three of these simultaneously, don’t be surprised when people don’t want to deal with you again. Or that everyone is annoyed, including you.

Happy Freegling!

political rambling, links, and other thoughts

I am moving to a different borough and constituency soon, and among other things I am starting to think about how the local politics will be there. In a way it’s a shame to be leaving my home area. For all its’ faults, I love Tottenham. I love walking down the streets I’ve always known, observing the multitudes of humanity that call it home, looking around me and feeling comfortable. Last weekend I went to view a flat within Haringey with my partner, and I noted how peaceful and happy I was all day. I showed him around a lot of my old haunts and it was a beautiful day. Obviously though I am not moving out of town or anything like that, despite having had some thoughts about moving to Manchester. Perhaps I am waxing too lyrical about all this. 

My new house is in Hendon. Today I’ve been looking around online to research the local political situation, and asked Justin Hinchcliffe (chairman of Tottenham Conservatives) about it. Conservative councillor Matthew Offord is the candidate for Hendon in the next local election. Barnet’s wardmap is here. I’ve recently wondered about getting involved with politics in Tottenham, and then discovered that the way to it seems to involve paying party membership fees. This puts me off. I’m not only put off because I am skint. Given that people devote a lot of time and effort to volunteering and canvassing for the party, I’d imagine parties would be bending over backwards to get additional members for nothing. I’m also put off from officially joining, say, the Conservatives because I’m a ‘three parties voter’. At any given election in the UK I will vote for one to three of the following parties: Green Party, Conservatives, Lib Dems. Recently I’ve considered getting involved with the Socialists as a group as opposed to as a political party. I’ve signed some of their petitions and asked for local information but haven’t really received anything yet. 

Hendon Conservatives‘ Matthew Offord information tells me some interesting points. ‘David Cameron and the Conservative Party are laying out plans for how to change Britain for the better.’  To be honest, I don’t think much of David Cameron. Neither do most people, it seems. However, nobody thinks much of Tony Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher or Gordon Brown either. It remains to be seen who is the best of a bad lot, really. Britain had better change for the better, though, because as it is now its’ public have had enough. Matthew Offord is running campaigns to highlight how a Conservative Britain and specifically a Conservative Hendon would be better than it is now. That’s a fair point, I personally do think Conservative is less crappy than Labour for the most part. However, is that really saying much? It is currently being proven by Boris Johnson that in the position of London Mayor, Conservative is worse than Labour. I didn’t think things could get much worse than Ken Livingstone, but evidently they can.

‘I believe in real tax cuts not tax cons.  I believe governments should be responsible with our money, real people’s money and not go on borrowing binges.  A Conservative government would live within its means by offering stability and lower taxes that last.’ This is all very well in principle. We all want the government to manage our money better and prevent further economic crashing. How will this happen though? ‘I am also committed to campaigning to improve women’s healthcare in Hendon, to improving the Northern Line and to ensuring high quality education.’ Hear hear. Now, Matthew, stop talking about it and go prove that you are actually doing it.

Matthew Offord is also encouraging local children to read. Personally, I am a book lover. I read, write, listen, watch, sell, source, swap, buy, borrow and lend books almost all the time. I have a target of 200 books to read during 2009 and read 192 in 2008. I think everybody should be able to afford to read books they love, and be encouraged to enjoy reading. However, I don’t think we need focus so much on that with tinies. I think more adults and teenagers need to be encouraged to read. I observe from friends that when a person only accesses reading through ‘required reading’ at school they don’t tend to enjoy reading or find a way to like it. They are forced to read. I think more ‘outside the box’ reading needs to be done.

The above quotes were from Matthew Offord’s ‘message to you’ at www.hendonconservatives.org. More local issues questions and answers can be found here. Full minutes of his ‘Leader Listens’ session in Burnt Oak can be found here. UK Polling Report’s Hendon area review makes informative reading and can be found here.

On another topic, Vanessa Robertson, owner of Fidra Books, has written an interesting blog post. It’s all about the relationship between authors and bookshops, and gives some good guide points.

Thank you for reading this blog post from me. Please do comment and tell me what you do/ don’t like about this blog, what you want to see more/ less of, and just give me general feedback and input.