Standing as a candidate in 2013 was a great experience and I’m very grateful to the people who voted for and campaigned for me. But party politics is a tiring business. It takes people who would otherwise agree on most issues, gives them separate factions to join, and pits those factions against each other in a sometimes bitter process. I’ve been as guilty of engaging in this as anyone else. I encountered one Labour candidate who objectively speaking is the sort of person I very much respect and admire, but their position as a Labour candidate makes me their electoral foe by default. It’s not a very nice position, and it’s rather mentally exhausting.
Internal party politics is just as tiring. It can feel cool to be In The Loop sometimes, knowing who’s who in the Green Party, knowing internal debates and going to national conferences. But it also becomes difficult to get away from that and get back to the real world, where GPex and the Brighton and Hove administration aren’t everyday concerns...though they are important.
Sometimes electoral politics is fun; sometimes it isn't.
For those reasons, I’m taking a break from internal and external party politics for a while – probably just the summer. Party politics still permeates our national discourse so it’s impossible to get away from it; but I think it might help my mindset to stop thinking in partisan terms for a while. It would probably also help my mental health which hasn't been in the best state this year.
So…see you soon.