scouting for boys. and girls

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Did you know that it costs a tenner a month to subscribe to Dominic Cumming’s blog? Hold that thought for a moment and we’ll come back to it in due course.

As Alan Duncan, ex-Tory cabinet minister, highlighted in his recent memoir, there’s a great deal to dislike about both politicians and politics. By his own admission “Parliament is dead. Political leadership barely exists. We are stagnant.”. He actually saves his worst musings for the current PM, which I’ve commented on in the past, but I’m way too weak to pass-up the opportunity of repeating the fact that he believes Gavin Williamson is a “venomous self-seeking little sh*t”, Priti Patel a “brassy monster” and Michael Gove an “unctuous freak”.

Notwithstanding, serious times call for serious people and, following the last two years, the argument for grown-ups in the room could hardly be clearer. And here’s the catch, the best societal and political ideas often come from people who are not politicians and who don’t necessarily have a political axe to grind. They just want a better life for themselves and those around them. The NHS, women having the vote, universal child benefit, the Race Relations Act, even a five-day working-week were all dreamt up in some cold, draughty community hall by ordinary people. Consequently, we should all seek to strike-out the supposed mystery and intrigue of politics which is undeniably rooted in outdated tradition, in the use of complicated jargon and long words, in snobbery and one-upmanship.

‘Playing politics’ is a taunt often levelled by those already in the gang to convey the impression that ordinary people should not get involved and, when they dare to try, they’re merely behaving in a childish or ignorant manner. It’s recently been used in bucket-loads to shockingly ridicule young change-makers such as Marcus Rashford, Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai. Yes, people are busy, they have bills to pay, children to placate, box-sets to watch but, as it touches every facet of our lives from where you’re born to how and when you die, politics is for everyone. Even if it’s just knowing what the different parties basically stand for and what their aims and ambitions are, great and it’s a start as we ignore it at our peril.

So, a tenner.

I’ve been ranting and railing at you for well over ten years and have yet to ask for anything other than an ear and an open-mind. But it’s about to change. Long-story short, I’ve been press-ganged by a pal to proactively do some fund-raising for the Boy Scouts, specifically to help them raise enough cash to rebuild their current asbestos-riddled, dilapidated Scout Hut, and I think it’s a worthy, heart-felt, volunteer-led social cause. And get this, scouting, beavers and cubs are not only for boys but equally for girls, and they provide guidance and support up to the age when they can legally vote! Over the next couple of months get ready to put your hand-in-your pocket as I’m going to set-up Just Giving site, I’m going to twist your arms to attend Quiz Nights, Bike Days, Bake Offs and Jumble Sales, and, if you have access to your company’s coffers then I may even ask you to beg, steal and borrow enough to become a supporting, sponsoring partner to the whole goggled-escapade.

Dib, dib, dib. Watch this space…