Sunday, 22 August 2010
I tumbled down the stairs, eager to find out what had just thudded onto my doormat. It sounded quite heavy. Surely it must be the weighty brochure I'd been expecting from Medway Council. A brochure which explained the benefits of city status should Medway enter its bid, and win, with a great big questionnaire at the back and lots of blank space for the much-valued residents to give their views. I peeked along the hallway, and there it was, on the doormat, its glossy front page sparkling in the sunlight. I flicked through it. Could I wait until I'd eaten to fill this in? No, I decided. I couldn't. It was just too exciting. I went in search of my favourite pen, a massive grin on my face. Just as I turned to the first page, I woke up.
Hmmmph. So not happy. I'd fallen asleep reading Medway Matters, a shameful Pravda-esque attempt to keep residents informed of the council's work. Somewhere between reading what young people had been told to think and wondering what percentage of Medway's residents were likely to have realised that it was a propaganda rag, my brain had shut down. On the plus side, the editor had said that Medway residents had already been consulted about city status, and that 68% were in favour of Medway's bid, which would've been nice had all Medway's residents had their say. But still, 400 people had a say, so that's not bad is it? So 272 people out of Medway's quarter of a million residents are in favour. And of course, there's Will Young. He backs the bid. So do Status Quo. Damn good of them really. And let's not forget The Saturdays. I mean, when 2012 comes around, and say Medway does get its city status, will anyone remember who the fuck The Saturdays are? I don't even know who they are, but they back the bid for my town to be turned into one fifth of a city, so I should be thankful, right? Well I'm not. Because I wasn't asked. I don't know a single person who was.
So, how would Medway Council prove that its bid is well supported if it doesn't consult its residents? Well, in the aforementioned propaganda rag, there is a bunting flag, which we are allowed to cut out and colour in, before sending it off to Gun Wharf. Isn't that nice?
There was me thinking the council was ignoring us all, but I was mistaken. The council is treating us like idiots.