Peterborough by-election 2019
When the Peterborough by-election was announced it had been 2 years since I had
done any type of activism, I bluntly stopped when my personal life changed considerably. Despite this I still feel a responsibility to speak up about injustices I have experienced. This was the perfect opportunity what with all the Brexit party attention. As usual I handed in my nomination papers and over the next 4 weeks only visited the area a few times, mostly when I had interviews, I never bother campaigning because I don't really care if I get votes or not. I don't bother arguing with dictatorial clergymen (there is always one in every constituency, each one like a clone of the last) on a power kick about whether or not I am worthy of attending a hustings. I take photos, and videos of myself and Elmo in the area and record the experience on social media and my website, I know I am going to need it all one day soon.
On the night of the count I went in dressed as Elmo (duh), I was searched by security while in the suit with the head on which was odd. Once I got in to the counting area the returning officer accosted me to explain the counting procedure and timeline and as much as I was trying to listen to her I could not ignore Katie Hopkins standing behind her waving at me to come over so I went over, she asked me some questions about what I am doing and why, she had someone with her filming. As usual none of the mainstream media bother asking what I am doing dressed as a 7ft Elmo which is ironic because that is exactly why I feel the need to dress as Elmo. Fathers/mens rights is not an attractive cause to stand up for and does not get any focused or organic media attention on its own, evidence of this is that Fathers have been climbing buildings for nearly 20 years to try raise awareness, something that I have had to do many times. My opinion has always been that if everybody agreed with or supported me then there would be no point in doing what I do.
At one point in the evening I noticed all the press gathered around a door which was signed "Candidates and agents" obviously I walked over and went in, and was abruptly stopped by a giant man, I could see Nigel Farage sitting on a desk behind him, he wouldn't let me in, the press argued that as a candidate I should go in, after about 10 minutes the labour candidate went in there so they let me in. Inside my mum and I just sat in there for about an hour, there were only a few candidates and agents in there so we sat in quiet a lot of the time, it was quite surreal. Nigel decided to leave when it became apparent that the Brexit party were not going to win, he was happy to have a picture with me and said I am doing it for a good cause. Out of all the 1 to 1
conversations I have had with senior politicians - May, Corbyn, Cameron, Gove, Khan, Clegg, Milliband - he is the only one who actually acknowledged my cause.
The plan that I had for the stage had to be abandoned due to the shock result, it was a peaceful act that would of guaranteed worldwide exposure for the cause but I decided to leave it. For me it never gets old standing on a stage in a serious election dressed as Elmo and even if I was reunited with my older children tomorrow I would still do it, it is important that you stand up for what you believe in, almost a decade has passed and it does not get easier but as I mentioned earlier life moves on, even for me.... until an election comes up.