I hadn’t been on the political scene very long before I realised that many, most certainly the majority of International residents in Mijas knew little of nothing about how councils operate, or what the issues of concern in Mijas are.
Last year, I decided to write an article a week highlighting what I had learned from the previous days. Some of these articles appeared in this column. Others were just stored on my computer for the sake of it.
A few months ago I decided to put these articles into book form along with articles which I hadn’t published. I have to be honest and say that one motivator for publishing the book, was the fact that Mijas Tax payers contribute €2.5 million a year to a council owned communication company, and basically all it talks about is how good the government team is. Nothing done by the ‘opposition’ councillors is considered newsworthy, but has to go into the ‘political’ pages. If I don’t have a real voice through the local press, I will do it through a book.
I have criticised the International Community as a whole for being monumentally disinterested in the political process, yet it is this very system that both charges taxes and spends them on our behalf.
The other reason I decided to publish a book, is that I have published two novels already and the third novel of the trilogy has been half written and on hold since I entered the political world. The time needed for a novel is unfortunately not afforded to me at this point, so it is a kind of writing therapy that is manageable.
Diary of a Councillor (in Opposition) is not an expose of the seedy underbelly of local politics. To be honest it is mainly banal and uninteresting, but it would be a missed opportunity not to expose some of the motivation and ineptitude of local political life: the ambitions for big, or even bigger salaries to be had in the unelected bodies, and the reactions of the residents to living within these systems.
Having said this, this book will be the first in a series (at least one per year), and book two will get more into the nitty gritty, perhaps even name and shame of politics. You will gather that it is already underway.
It does, of course, reflect on the role of an opposition councillor and the first foreigner to be a councillor in Mijas, and if I could wish one thing, it would be to interest the International Community in the machine that drives the municipality and to get them more involved in what is happening.
The initial launches have gone well and are generating a lot of interest. I do expect that this series of books will make me some enemies, but telling the truth does offend some people. The book is available on Amazon.