I have done a lot of tedious things in life; I’ve filled in a self-assessment tax form whilst stoned, I’ve tried to explain to my mum how Twitter works several times in one day and I’ve listened to an entire Coldplay album. None of these things are remotely comparable to spending time with the North East Derbyshire Conservatives, a group of people who are so antiquated by contrast they make horse-driven ploughs look progressive and modern.
With a party membership that has been on the decline for the last 50 years, you might expect the Tory party would be eager to shake things up a little and try new and exciting ways to engage with people. Unfortunately they are about as up-for-it as a frigid teenager with a weight problem who has to go home in twenty minutes.
I decided to try to run for town council because I didn’t have a lot on last year. So yeah, here is the nightmare I had trying to get on Dronfield Town Council.
Who to run for?
If you want to run for town council you’re going to have to pick a party to run for. I picked the Conservatives because I assumed it would be easier to get voted in a majority-white town with a high percentage of old people. Generally you have to become a member of the party, this costs a meagre amount of money.
I was already a member of the Liberal Democrats from years ago but I decided to pretty much ignore this fact and join the Conservative party anyway, mainly for the banter. Which is a horrible indictment of the world where we’ll happily sell out our principles for the sake of trolling some people with minor political power.
Fill in an application form
Once you’ve pushed the idea that you want to run for town council, you have to fill in an application form. The application form is pretty standard, it has general questions to make sure you’re not a massive kiddly-fiddler, an absolute wrong’un, or even worse, too much of a chicken-shit lefty to wave the blue banner for the Tories.
I went for a beer with Lee Rowley (the Tory man who is running to be the next MP for North East Derbyshire) to discuss how the council works and if he reckoned I stood a good chance for getting on council. Much to my surprise he did, perhaps he didn’t know me well enough at the time, but he kept buying me beer and reassuring me that I would be a strong candidate and should seriously think about running.
The shit you have to do before the interview
Before you even do the interview you are generally vetted to make sure you’re not an absolute pleb. I had the honour of having a beer at The Swan with two men so uninteresting I have since forgotten their names. They reinforced the idea that I should do exactly what they say and after a bit of background checking they had a few reservations about my outspoken attitude and general toss-pottery online.
They insisted that I should do some online reputation management. It transpires that meant they wanted me to take down this website, which I wasn’t so keen on since I’ve contributed to it for two years. I lied and said I’d omit some things for them if that’s what it took.
I also had another meeting with Cllr Doug Oxspring to discuss my impending rise to power. I can comfortably say Doug was one of the few very agreeable people in the horrible process. Plus I said the word cunt at least three times whilst speaking to him and he didn’t bat an eye-lid.
The interview was held in a room at a church in Chesterfield. They told me to wear a suit but I don’t really like wearing suits so I wore jeans and a shirt instead. Four men, none of them younger than 120, asked me questions and generally grilled me for lying to them on several occasions. They asked me to introduce myself. I told them my name, my star-sign and brief bio worthy of a BAFTA. I think I even winked at one of them.
They hated me.
They asked me if I had done anything in the past that would reflect badly on the party if it were to come out. Which was a little problematic because I was struggling to think of anything I’ve done in the past that wouldn’t reflect badly on the party. I told them ‘nobody is whiter than white,’ to which one of them chuckled worriedly.
They really hated me.
Slag them off to their faces at the Tory branch meeting
Before I heard back from the results of the interview I went down to one of the local Dronfield Conservative branch meetings. The Dronfield Conservative branch established itself some time last year to basically find some mugs to go door-to-door canvassing. Much to the excitement door knocker extraordinaire Mark “Knock Knock” Foster, a man who tried to get us to go canvassing after a few drinks on a Wednesday at 7:30pm. LAD.
At some point during the meeting I criticized their attempts to engage with people online. They asked me if I could spare the time to help them out with it, I refused because I wasn’t originally allowed a title on the branch meeting as I was in Slovenia when the branch was initially formed. So, I got pissed and made jokes about door knocking.
Write mean things on the internet about them months later
I was hand delivered my letter by Lewis Preston, campaign manager for Lee Rowley, a fella who I assume was illustrated into life by the guy that doodles in Roald Dahl books. Unsurprisingly, I was rejected they were not prepared to accept me as a candidate because I was a ‘liability’.
So yeah. That’s about it really.