APATHY: With politics in high in Mijas

I HAVE had five recent conversations with international residents recently, and after introducing myself as a Mijas Councillor, got the same reply: ‘I’m not really into politics’.

My wife with all the subtlety of an attacking Doberman, follows up with, ‘So did you vote in the last local elections?’

“As I said, I’m not really into politics!”   

What does this actually mean?

I am only the second international to be a councillor in Mijas, and the first Brit ever.

I’m not into politics.

Although I have been critical of the previous Mijas government, it has not been entirely for ‘political’ reasons.

I am a resident of Mijas, and I pay my taxes here, so I want to know how and where they are being spent.

I want to know that they are being put to good use in security, cleanliness, services.

Does that make me political?

I don’t think so.

Holding answerable the people we pay to manage our community for what they do is not a political thing; it is about accountability.

I don’t care what colour their party is. Accountability is about position, not political parties.

Some of the people I spoke to have been here for over 30 years, and from their response, presumably never vote.

Is this because they are not into politics or because they’re more into apathy?

It is the head-in-the- sand attitude of ‘just leave me alone, and don’t spoil my day by talking about taking responsibility’.

I’m not into politics, but I have reached a stage in my life where I want to make a contribution to the place I live.

I want it to be better.

I want to help solve problems, to help people manoeuvre through what is sometimes a maze of bureaucracy.

I haven’t been a councillor for long, but already the requests have come in.

I have raised various issues, on behalf of Mijas residents, with the councillors responsible: a football club excluded from the local leagues, construction workers using public walkways as a toilet, transport issues for diverted traffic from Mijas Pueblo, traffic, parking and security issues in one of the urbanisations, and long standing matters still arising with the Mijas Donkeys.

Does that sound like ‘politics’ to you?

If it does, you and I have a very different view of what the word means.

I did get caught up in a political wrangle which I have previously explained; high ranking political henchmen making backroom deals and trading posts and positions of power for municipalities.

Frankly, I can’t be bothered with these adult playground games where they always win and the people are always the losers. 

The question is: “Do we vote because we are into politics, or because we care about where we live?”

Maybe that is two questions!

Politics, from the original Greek, means no more than ‘affairs of the city’.

If we care about where we live, we have no option but to be into politics.

If we don’t give a damn about where we live, sure we can justify it by saying, ‘I’m not into politics’.

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