Hello, Democracy Fans!

Tomorrow (Thursday 4th) is voting day, so be sure to find your local polling station and get out there and vote! Because this year there are A LOT of muppets running. (If only.. that would actually quite fun…) UKIP and BNP are going to do very well in these elections as the knee-jerk populus votes in response to symptoms and not problems, and independent candidates will receive a bit of a boost on account of the expenses fuss.

So please please please choose your vote wisely.

  • Find out who your local candidates are
  • Remember that this is an EU election, not a UK election, so voting down party lines doesn’t matter
  • Read all the policies and look for SUBSTANCE in what they’re saying. (It is not enough to restate the problem, you have to believe that they will have ideas for an integrated solution, too)
  • Encourage others to vote tomorrow, too, perhaps by saying you’re going to be voting on your way to work tomorrow, or going with a few friends at lunch time if you work near home
  • Do not spoil your ballot paper! No matter how much fun it may be to vote “you’re all bastards who have clearly never read history, science, geography, psychology or … in fact what DO you know about?” it alas counts for nothing, and you’re the one who ends up facing the consequences, not them.

Now alas you will not be able to vote for me, even if you live in the South West, since I voluntarily withdrew after voting closed and after a few chats with Jury Team.

There are a number of reasons for this, but the main two are:

1. Thanks to your 475 votes, I was #2 on the ballot. This is excellent, but not 1st place. This means that in order for me to be elected in, voters would first have to elect in the person who is #1 on the ballot.

This person, Sally Smith, is absolutely the worst type of person who could ever be elected to the EU. Not only is she a former Daily Mail journalist, she is a typical bar-propping pub ranter who cries that “urgent action MUST be taken!” but offers no ideas what that urgent action might be, and that she’s the one who is to execute it. See for yourself at http://www.voteforsallysmith.com/page2.html

There was no way that I could encourage people to vote for me via her, and I’m not a sufficient arsehole or poor strategist to give her the oxygen of publicity by kicking up a fuss about her shortcomings, so felt it best to stand down and concentrate on doing something more worthwhile with my time. More on this shortly.

2. Jury Team itself as an organisation is weak. I had a meeting with their team a few days after voting closed and they were shambolic and were going to provide little in the way of support, treating this as a trial run for the May 2010 elections. They also sent emails and phone calls trying to whip their independent candidates into line, something in direct opposition to their own policy. (To their credit they have bought on more competent people in the last few weeks, but that’s too late.)

So since I’ve not been running, what HAVE I been doing?

It’s very exciting! The mission behind the MEP push was to do what I can to make the world a better place. Well I’m glad to say I’ve found an idea which can do this.

GoodBreaks will be a site which allows people to trade 4 to 6 hours work per day – typically gardening, farming, harvesting, but also encompassing other areas like restoration and building, housework, and possibly also professional trade – in exchange for board and lodging in some of the most beautiful places in the world.

This allows ‘guests’ to get a break in the country, learn new skills at no cost, reconnect with the food chain, and possibly test drive a lifestyle change, whilst providing smallholders, B&Bs, and small local organsiations with the support they desperately need but can not afford.

This is currently going through a ‘friends and family’ funding round, and a comprehensive investment presentation with cash projections, market analysis, and so forth is available. If you are interested in becoming a shareholder in this company, which you will notice taps in to both a societal and economic shift towards healthier eating and growing-your-own, and low cost holidays with an element of voluntourism, and has large international growth opportunities, please email me at me@eddowding.com and I’ll send you a PDF.

Meantime, I’m also trying to make a bob or two to keep the income incoming whilst I grow GoodBreaks, so if anyone knows of any web projects or businesses which could use some help, I’m available: www.eddowding.com/cv

Thank you, everyone, for your help and support, and happy voting!

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