Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Leaving Cowley St for the Good Life

This Friday is my last day at Cowley St. I am leaving for the Good Life in Gateshead! Literally! My department is being reorganised and I was offered redundancy or interview for one of the new jobs that will be created. The reorganisation is the result of the Bones Review. Lib Dems will know what that is - in a nutshell, a reformed structure for the party centrally that is designed to deal with the demands now placed on the party and takes the organisation forward. Any sensible organisation must review its structure to ensure it best operates in the current and likely future environment.

The outcome for my job is that my functions are being split between 2 new posts and my current job ceases to exist. My original plan was to apply for one of the new jobs but after a great deal of thought, I realised that now is the ideal time to pick up where I left off 9 years ago when I first started working in London.

One of my big aims has been to become self-sufficient, to grow all our own food. We have made a start with this, taking on a derelict allotment 2 years ago. It is now into production but needs more work. Saving the environment is not just something I want to talk about. We each have to do our bit and for me, I want to do that bit more. Growing all our own food means we will greatly reduce our impact on the environment. I am looking forward enormously to working on this.

But there are other things in the pipeline as well. I will be able to pursue a career as a failed novelist and finish the novel I have been writing for the past 10 years! Finding a publisher may be a bit more difficult. I also have plans to make a series of local history videos and publications. All these have been shelved for years but now there is a possibility of doing them.

And finally, I am much more at home in politics being a field officer rather than stuck behind a desk in HQ producing material for others to use. I have done as much campaigning as I can in Gateshead whilst doing my London stuff but I want to do so much more on my home patch. We have target seats I am now signed up to help in the region. And in Gateshead I will be taking a more hands on role in taking the battle to the Labour party. The socialist brethren had better watch out - I'm back!

So, after 7 years at Cowley St, and 2 before that at the LGA, I'm coming home for good. Deciding to leave HQ has not been easy and I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of people to work with. But there are times when you know a lifetime opportunity is waiting to be grasped and may never come again.

So thank you to all my colleagues in Lib Dem HQ, it's been a great 7 years. And to everyone else watch out for things happening in Gateshead.
Sent via BlackBerry


David said...

Good luck, Jonathan ! I'm sure you deserve it.

Liberal Polemic said...

Congratulations on the new job.

You are still going to be able to vote for me, though. Right?

Claire Kelley said...

Best wishes Jonathan. I hope you will enjoy the good life. Thanks for all your help over the years.

Daniel said...

Good luck Jonathan, we welcome you back to the Homeland with open arms :)

kevin scott said...

Do you think the Labour party will be shaking in its boots in Lobley Hill & Bensham, Jonathan?

Alex Wilcock said...

Best of luck, and keep having fun!