Monday, 18 April 2005

Gaylection Fever

In 1995, I think, I was elected as a member of the Town Council of my parents' village. I was asked by the mayor if I was interested and basically only had to say yes for it to happen as I was very much elected on my father's good name and reputation. I did not get to do much there, either. I was very junior with no real skills to share and the council's role was more to agree to the mayor's decisions than anything else. Not a very satisfying experience. When I left for this country, I had come to the conclusion that I was usurping someone else's place on that council who could perhaps have done more than I did.

Two weeks ago, I made my first ever "political" speech. By a decision I am more and more starting to question, I was standing for the position of Chair of the Marketing, PR and Merchandising Committee of the London Gay Men's Chorus. I have never really had any dealings with the Committee other than the odd suggestion and the designing of the programme for our Pinner gig in November last year. What decided me, I am not sure. Probably the fact that I have an interest in design and advertising and in promoting the Chorus and its ethos of fighting prejudices and also because I believe I can do better than what people have done so far. There seems to be (like in all the rest of this country) an incredible lack of organisation and common sense in the way things are run. A lack of imagination too.

I have been a bit more involved recently, due to my candidacy, and I have rather enjoyed this but I am worried of "office politics" at which I am really crap. Knowing myself I will probably try to do everything myself (just because it is easier and/or because I don't like what I see and hear) and people will probably not like it. Those touchy queens! There are also a couple of people on the Committee, the quality of whose involvement I am slightly wary of. They are however in a position of power and I am not sure how things will shape up in that respect. My general impression is that people have very low standards in their expectations of the quality of the Committee's work. Because this is a hobby for them, they don't seem to realise what prominence the Chorus has achieved in the past few years especially and therefore do not recognise the need for professional standards in everything that we do; not just in the performances. Of course these are all a priori impressions and things will probably be quite different on the field.

To top it all, it is also one of the first times I will find myself in any sort of prominent position, having to lead people and make decisions. I am rather a behind the scene sort of guy. This should be a very interesting learning curve! And perhaps also a way to get myself out of the professional dead end I am in at the moment.

The election is tonight. I am standing unopposed, except for the dreaded RON (Reopening Of Nominations)....

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