Local elections 2022: 'Democracy matters' and it needs us all to 'nurture and protect it' says Vulcan

You might have noticed it’s election time. Or maybe you didn’t? It’s a bit hard to tell these days.

By Vulcan
Friday, 29th April 2022, 5:18 pm

The local elections - held this coming Thursday - are not exactly what you would call a Mardi Gras.

There are few posters in windows.

Not much sign of canvassers from the various parties, either..

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, is a familiar figure to Sheffielders; his statue sits atop the Town Hall.

You might get the odd leaflet, with a terrible, grainy picture of the candidate and a load of badly-written waffle, talking about things you aren’t concerned about with precious little about the things you are.

A bit depressing, then, all in all.

So what’s the point?

But then you turn on the television news, and there it is.

Read More

Read More
Sheffield Local Elections 2022: The key seats to keep an eye on

Images of what happens when people do not enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted.

The cowed Russian people, led by a madman who murders his opponents.

The poor Yeminis, half-starved as they shelter from Saudi rocket attacks.

The Afghans, under the boot heel of the medieval Taliban.

Those brave Ukrainians, in the rubble of their cities, mourning their dead as they stand in defiance at an invading dictatorship.

Many would no doubt trade places with you or me in a heartbeat.

It’s corny, but democracy matters.

Like oxygen, you’d notice pretty quickly if it wasn’t there.

And it takes each one of us, dear reader, to nurture and protect it.

When we do, we send a signal into the dark recesses of our world that government of the people, by the people, and for the people is possible.

A goal to cherish.

An eternal, enduring and ever-glorious cause.

Even when it comes to the banal choice of deciding which party in little old Sheffield gets to deal with potholes and dog poo.

Choice - free will - is what separates freedom from tyranny.

So get off your backside, find out where your polling station is (assuming, like me, that you always forget to apply for a postal vote), and go and vote!

Yes, you might think “they’re all the same” (often true, I have to say).

You might think they’re incompetent (again, I can’t disagree).

You might even think they’re bent (Sheffield Council’s pretty clean, I have to say, but I take your point).

And, still…

They will only do what we want and avoid doing things we don’t want if we, the voters, come out and have our say.

And it’s worth stating that there are a lot of decent people in our local politics - on all sides.

We don’t get to see what goes on outside of the election period.

The weekends lost holding advice surgeries.

The late-night call from an irate householder, complaining about his neighbour’s privet hedge.

Or the young mum being hassled by her deadbeat landlord.

Or the struggling pensioner couple who need help from social services.

This is what local councillors get up to when no-one’s looking.

The unglamorous work of representing their constituents.

Cynics will sneer, but it’s a noble calling.

The local elections are our chance to reward those who are trying their best.

But something else, too.

From our relatively comfy perch we get to send our solidarity to the benighted peoples of the world, showing dictators anywhere that free people everywhere will keep the flame of freedom burning brightly.

And that eventually, it will engulf them.