When I was elected last September to serve on the NME I had a plan of action which I wanted to carry out. I had grand ideas, glorious plans and a romantic vision for change. I was an individual fighting my corner, trying to get my ideas onto the agenda. It wasn't to be. I now understand, with hindsight, that my ideas were a bit too extravagant, a bit too hopeful, a bit too unachievable. What is needed a group of people that have a consistent set of ideas that will work, rather than the NME being fractured along lines of aloof principles and far away concepts of grandeur. Forward Together is this team that will, given the chance, be the best team for the job.
As an incumbent, I am open to criticism. I did my best to help create branches in marignal seats, such as Pendle, Crawley, Solihull, Portsmouth and the Wirral; I intiated them, and they have since taken the reigns of power over themselves and I so pleased to see this happen. I organised the Nottingham Spring Forum CF presence, and many people said that it was an enjoyable experience. Others said it was bloody awful, but that's just life. I have done my best in the last year, and done my best to help CF members across the country have a branch close to them, and to enjoy the times they have amongst their CF friends. If you agree, then thank you. If you don't, then I apologise.
I said I was going to stand down at the next NME election as I had had enough of the petty snipes and incongruent attacks from a few, rather misguided folk. I was demoralised by my inability to persue my agenda for the sake of unity. I was frustrated with CF. The idea of Forward Together was the idea that convinced me otherwise.
I have a great fondness for our party and the ideals which we hold close. Realistically, CF cannot change the principles of the party, rather support them and act as a vehicle for their publicity. This is what we do well. Matt Richardson, my groups' candidate for Chairman, ran successful campaigns last year, and we will continue to do that this year. I will take reponsibility for creating more branches, and for recreating the National Weekend. I will not rest until we have the National Weekend back as a regular feature, and start having CF not only as a political entity, but also as a firm social arena. I'm just sorry I couldn't have done it sooner, as it has been a great, great shame to see it die a death under my watch.
I would love to work alongside Matt and the rest of the Forward Together team; this is my main purpose in running for the election. However, I am not adverse to the other candidates. I have never met Daryl, but he seems like a good enough guy. I have met Michael a few times, and he is a very likeable chap with his heart in the right place and I do genuinely like him. But Matt Richardson is the one with the right record, the one with the right ideas and the one with the right people. He is my preferred candidate, and I hope he is yours too.
For the future, you can see what I want to do. For the certainty, you can look at what I've done. For the delivery, you can vote for me, and for Forward Together.
I hope you will lend me your vote again in the next few days.