You may or may not know that our village has a small group of people who proclaim to represent all villagers.  They are a small group but a group which is becoming increasingly dominant, vocal and frankly aggressive.

They came together – an ironic show of community – to fight our planning objection but have subsequently moved on to fight everything.  Just fight.

I believe they have two key binding aspects:

  • They are enjoying the power of the collective and holding the narrative. 
  • They are united about a style of village that is descriptive of an insular hamlet: no growth, no facilities.  Their rules, their order.

My view is that this group is not having a great effect on our village.  They are creating a very negative view of the village to people outside of the village.  Gossip that rumbles in the area which I become aware of as a publican indicates that the village reputation is so bad that people are even being put off from buying a house here.  They are certainly being put off from paying the pub a visit.  It’s a problem.

This group is destructive.  It is damaging both the village and the pub.  It is does it because of self-proclaimed power and no resistance.  It is the only village community in that regard but like all power seekers it is now there to be decapitated (metaphorically of course).

In its new course, it has move from personal attack against me to continuous attacks on members of the Parish Council because they supported it.  Said members are being individually attacked, reported to the district council monitoring officer and generally being harassed and worn down.  There are legal grounds for fighting this but realistically nobody wants to go down a road that prolongs or deepens the division.

What I am sure we would all want is to live in a community that has an ability to allow each other to live our own lives as far as possible.  Where we disagree, we do so with civilisation and respect.  If we feel we have a need to say something we deal with it nicely, make our points but don’t bully.  We should accept that someone else has every right to make their own decision.  We accept arbitration.  We accept the outcome.

The problem is that they have the narrative and it isn’t one I agree with.  I need to stand against it, form a collective of support and enable a nicer group to have a better narrative for our village.  I want a group to stand up and be counted against the other group.  Not on a my issue but on a principle of how to behave on the principle that we are allowed to make our own minds up without having a fear of being bullied and intimidated.  I want to counter this group to demonstrate that their belief that they are the representatives of this village is untrue. 

At the next parish council meeting I have no doubt that these bullies will group together, demand that their totalitarian view is heard and bully the council members.  That’s what they have done in the past few parish council meetings. 

My view is that our Councillors are people who all volunteer their time for our village and we should support them.  I want to stand with them and make the point that any bullying undertaken is not representative of me or most of my village.

This, I believe, is far more effective if I am not alone.

I think it is critical that we try to take some positive control of our village.  Promote a positive message.  Promote a village that wishes to retain and grow what it has.  A village with a heart and soul.  Not an isolated hamlet with nothing but an inwardly thinking selfish attitude. 

Next parish council meeting – Monday Jan 16 7.30pm I think.


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