No,I don't mean the County Cricket Club-too early in the season for that but rather the County Council.
June 4th sees the County Council elections and already the turn out predictions are dire.Some commentators are talking about a 20% turnout, and something similar for the European elections.
This is the anti-politics nation and we are caught in a national consensus of 'I can't be bothered'.
Anyone who has canvassed over the past twenty(or in my case forty) years has seen the decline in interest in political ideas and activism.In fact canvassers are as rare as hen's teeth these days and for a number of reasons:
1.the reluctance of people to open their front doors because of television/fear/indolence/or a simple lack of interest in anyone from outside!
It is frequently argued that the rejection of the political process represents a healthy cynicism-that frankly is bollocks!
What the rejection of the political process represents is a fear of getting involved in thinking about ideas and consequences.It is interesting to observe how many people say that they are not interested in politics and then come out with an astonishing dribble of half baked opinions and second hand anecdotal evidence that consists of hand me downs from the popular press.
Too many people talk and think scribble,and they of course are the raw material on which the bottom feeders of politics thrive.
The BNP and their ilk,UKIP and the Christian Peoples Allianceall exist in the shadowy world of anti ideological politics-the politics of hate,envy and bigotry.
Trouble is they exist in a vacuum that the major parties have created.Most particularly the Labour party,that over the past couple of decades have abandoned the social democratic/socialist principles it once stood for and become a party with no roots and no vision.
The labour party will evolve into radical party once again,but there may be a great deal of pain involved in that evolution and there will be casualties on the way.
But only a strong socialist party with a collective vision for the future will be able to resist the anti politics of the far right.
Part of that process will be the rebuilding of strong roots in the communities that need to work as communities,as local people organising together in the interests of all their neighbours.
The labour party was founded by trade unions who saw the need to combine together to improve the lives of everyone.
Right now we are back at the earliest stage of building such combinations and communities again.
That's why it may be necessary to create local centres to organise and fight on local issues and to encourage people to come from behind their front doors and forget whats on the TV-to hope again!
That's why the sort of campaign that Tony Clarke is fighting in Castle Ward is worth supporting!
And despite all the bluster and bravado the nazis of the BNP,with all the big bucks rolling into their coffers can only manage three miserable candidates in Northampton.